Thursday, August 09, 2012

Usain Bolt Sprints into the Record Books

Usain Bolt is probably one of the few Olympian ever that can get an entire stadium to roar their approval.  He'll even get fans to cheer when he is competing against one of their own country mates.  He is a rock star of the sports world.  A true superstar in any sport.  Michael Phelps may be the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, but Usain may be challenging for most popular.  Every victory Usain gains is met with the kind of cheers you hear when the home team wins the World Series or the Stanley Cup.  This is coming from someone who has only been able to view it on TV.  Man, I wish I was able to sucker a rich publisher into allowing me to cover the Olympics on site.

Usain Bolt may not be the most decorated Olympian, but he is a history maker.  He is now the first man to win back to back golds in the two fastest races, the 100 metre and the 200 metre.  He is the undisputed fastest man ever.

The sprint is the main event of the Olympics.  The buzz you get in that stadium is unbelievable.  One day, I really hope I can to be there.  I want to be soaking in the energy before the massive race.  It seems like one of the truly great pre-game moments in sport.  It is like the moments before a prize fight or the coin toss during the Super Bowl.  It carries the energy and hype that challenges any other major sporting event.

Usain Bolt won the main event on Sunday by dominating the 100 meter.  He just cemented his legacy today.  And he did it in the most epic of fashion possible.  He smoked the competition.  Though fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake challenged him a bit down the stretch when he put on the jet boosters and started to gain some meters.  Bolt knew he had won it, and even jogged past the finish line.  It was exactly how all his fans wanted him to win it.

Jamaica is a racing power that has just blasted on the scene in the last decade.  I don't ever really remember hearing about them being a real super power back in the '80s and '90s.  Now, they have several top notch sprinters, and even have a Jamaican sweep of the medals in today's 200 meter final.  I don't see them giving up that crown any time soon.

The victory today was almost more exciting than the race.  You can see why Usain is a rock star of sprinting.  He shook hands with and hugged as many fans as possible.  They all loved him.  He did his thunder bolt pose and almost a post victory posing show reminiscent of Hulk Hogan from wrestling.  It is a spectacle. And everyone loves it.  Bolt is probably one of the hottest stars in sports and the guy who has helped make track and field more popular (though it has always been hot in the Olympics).  He seems like a guy deserving of the fame.  He seems like someone who really cares about his community and is trying to give back to the poor children of Jamaica.  He is a world class athlete, a transcendent showman, and a remarkable human being.  Now, he is solidly in the history books and continues to become an immortal in the sports world.

Also in track and field, a world record was shattered in the men's 800 meter.  It didn't have the buzz of Bolt, but it was still a fantastic feat and a true show of dominance.  Kenya's David Lukuta Rudisha absolutely blew away the field by pulling away from all the other competitors and breaking a world record with the time of 1:40.91.  It was one of the few world record breakers at the track, and it was impressive due to being so dominant.  I also liked when his fellow team mate tried to shove himself into the photos and almost make it looks like he may have achieved the world record.  Way to try to steal the glory, Timothy Kitum.  You almost pulled it off.

It was definitely one of those exciting, history making days at the track.  And I can see it all in Brazil in 4 years when a millionaire pays for me to write about it.  You know you want to, Mister Moneybags.

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