Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Quotable:"Michael Johnson is a great athlete, and he revolutionized the sport,I just changed it a little bit." Usain Bolt, Jamaican world class sprinter

They say lightning never strikes twice. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt begs to differ and the Olympic gods have spoken. In a blur of green, gold and black, Bolt flew across the finish line in a daunting 19.30 seconds, shattering a world record of 19.32 seconds set by American, Michael Johnson back in 1996 during the Atlanta Olympics. The 22 year old mega track star is the second prodigy of the Olympics to skyrocket skepticism and virtually impossible dreams of shattering old world records straight into the stratosphere. With an air of concentration and focus he hadn’t shown in his showboat finish in the 100 meter race Saturday, Bolt took the gold in the 200 focused and determined to surpass Johnson’s expectations that he’d breeze past his world record “someday.” Today was that day.

“Everything came together tonight," Bolt said. "I just blew my mind. I blew the world's mind.”

You could say it was Bolt’s gold spikes reminiscent of Johnson’s gold spikes on that fateful night in Atlanta 12 years ago that did it for him or call it the “poetry in motion” he embodies when watching his tall, 6’5 lean yet graceful body effortlessly propelling him down the stretch as former gold medal hurdler, Renaldo Nehemiah describes him. Whatever you do, don’t focus on the diet. Sure Bolt trained hard but I’d hardly call an insatiable craving for McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets the breakfast of champions.

One thing is for sure, the quest to proclaim the Jamaicans as the best sprinters in the world is not a long stretch by a long shot. With 7 total medals, Jamaica surprisingly leads the US with 4 gold medals versus America’s 2 gold medals and 9 total medals. A product of a nation known for mass producing some of the fastest sprinters in events 400 meters or less, Bolt has a country lineage to uphold and a promise to fulfill as he leads his team for one last hooray in the 400 relay.

"We want to prove to the world we're the best," said Jamaican 400-meter hurdles gold medalist Melanie Walker.

If lightning can strike three times, Bolt indeed might be just the man to do it.

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