BOLT: I AM LEGEND
By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH Friday, August 10 2012
Usain Bolt is now a true living legend.
Yesterday, at a packed Olympic Stadium in London, England, the well-built Jamaican sprinter became the first man to have ever successfully completed the defence of an Olympics sprint double title when he blasted to victory in the men’s 200 metres with a season best performance of 19.32 seconds. Bolt’s flawless performance now sees him standing at the highest point of his professional athletic career.
However, what illuminated Bolt’s win even more is that last Sunday, the 25-year-old sprinter shattered the Olympic record in the 100 metres with another blistering golden performance of 9.63 seconds. To add icing to the cake, this was the first ever Olympic 200 metres final that saw Jamaican athletes sweep the top-three finishes, as compatriots Yohan Blake and Warren Weir cemented the silver (19.44s) and bronze (19.84s) respectively. Both 22-year-olds have shown significant athletic prowess throughout the Games and their 200 metres results have stamped their names on the international sprint circuit forever.
After his golden run, Bolt amplified his overall competitive aura and may now be classed as the new Muhammed Ali of this era. Ali, the legendary American boxing champion, was well known for his unorthodox fighting style, which he described as “floating like a butterfly, but stinging like a bee”. Bolt can be similarly characterised in this way since he has won all his Olympic events with a comfortable and cool stride, injected with high levels of confidence.
As Bolt’s powerful legs left the starting line yesterday, victory never looked too positive for any of the other competing athletes. The seasoned sprinter led the eight-man pack throughout the entire race, but was given a slight challenge by countryman Blake with the final 50 metres remaining. With the thousands packed into the Olympic Stadium screaming “Bolt, Bolt, Bolt”, the powerhouse Jamaican never let up and barely increased his overall speed to affirm authority over the race.
The stadium’s audience erupted in celebration as they were well aware that history was written right before their eyes in less than 20 seconds. Bolt’s impeccable performance saw him go into a celebratory frenzy as he began jumping up and down knowing fully well, that this was the pinnacle of his athletic career. He became the first athlete to win the 100 metres and 200 metres events in two successive Olympics as he had also raced away with two gold at the Games in Beijing, China in 2008.
It took Bolt some seconds after his performance to realise that it was a Jamaican sweep of the 200 metres final. The lanky sprinter applauded his countrymen’s memorable contributions and hugged the duo, beaming with pride. Bolt then began jokingly doing push-ups on the track, signalling the victory was a cool and easy one, and that he was ready for more. The powerhouse may have gone into a frenzy as he ran to the crowd and joined in celebrations with Jamaican loyalists and excited British fans.
The sprinter then took a media photographer’s camera and began shooting photos of his silver and bronze medal team-mates, along with photos of himself and other media personnel at the side of the track. At this time, the crowd went wild and were heard chanting “Bolt” and “Jamaica” at the top of their lungs.
Bolt’s words after his record breaking victory were indeed an inspiration to all. Knowing the dedication, commitment, anxiety, sleepless nights, lengthy training hours, media propaganda and all other obstacles were finally over, Bolt expressed elation with himself and his Jamaican compatriots.
“For me it was just wonderful. For me, it was all about just wanting it. I wanted to become a legend, I went out there and I did my greatest. My aim was to come out here and become a legend. I am a legend now. I am a living legend without a doubt. I showed the world that I am the best no matter what. This is what I do and I’m happy with myself,” explained a pumped up Bolt.
He commended his team-mates on a job well done by grabbing the silver and bronze.
“All I got to say is ‘Races to the world’, that’s it. These guys (Blake and Weir) have worked hard and they have been pushing themselves. They’ve pushed me, we’ve worked hard together throughout the season. We’ve really worked our hearts out to be great and thanks to Glen Mills (coach), he really pushed us to be champions,” continued an ecstatic Bolt.
The global sprint king gave a detailed revelation of his performance during the race. Bolt admitted he was well aware of Blake’s presence, but was not going to let him win. Although the sprint sensation dominated throughout the entire race, he indicated his old back injury began to slightly affect him in the final 75 metres. However, his explanation revealed a heightened sense of technical perfection that was implemented in the right place at the right time.
“I know that Yohan (Blake) was in lane four so I know he was going to be coming. I really had to push myself out of the turn, because I know I’m the better turner and I had to win the race off the turn. When I came off the turn I could feel the strain on my back (previous injury), maybe my back’s not as strong as I thought it was. I could feel the strain, maybe I ran too fast or something or technique didn’t go in properly, but all I could think right now was keep your form, don’t try to push yourself too much and I didn’t want anything to go wrong so I just continued in my stride and went through,” he added.News Editor of the Jamaica Gleaner, Adrian Frater, revealed yesterday that Jamaica erupted in celebrations of the historic feat. Asked about Bolt’s performance on the biggest sporting stage, Frater proudly stated, “Absolutely electric. Never before seen by anyone in the world. And not only Bolt’s winning show, but to have three Jamaicans at the centre-stage, this achievement is out of this world.”
Frater revealed that street parties in Jamaica had already began and thousands came out to celebrate the historic feat.
“Screens were put up all across Jamaica and the place is presently in pandemonium. Usain showed us hope. But his victory today has shown us reality, he brought our hopes to life and Jamaica is ecstatic and in uproar at this moment. I didn’t even realise we got all three positions, that was the most patriotic race I have ever seen for my country. Big up the yellow, black and green. The island is going to be celebrating this for a long time,” he said.
With excitement in his voice, Frater concluded, “This has united us all in Jamaica. We do not expect any major crimes tonight (last night) because when things like this happen, we come together as one. Regardless of our crime situation right now, we are together celebrating this achievement as a proud country.”
Kalif Bagalue, a 23-year-old who was born in Mandeville, Jamaica but presently resides in Trinidad, spoke to Newsday yesterday and held his head high for his homeland.
“Being here in Trinidad, I feel so proud. Bolt and his team-mates proved to the world that our training programmes are successful. They have been trying to get the best out of the programmes for some time now and this is it. Today shows the level of success of these programmes. I feel uplifted, I feel proud. Jamaica you large,” said the athletic enthusiast.
In conclusion, Bolt made sure to thank all his loyal supporters who stood with him through it all. He sent shout-outs to his personal friends in Jamaica, but was very stern to those who only supported him when he’s at the top. In his true Jamaican patois slang, Bolt exclaimed, “Thank you guys for supporting me. My true friends them, I’m not talkin’ the wagonist (band wagonists) them. I’m talking about my true friends that supported me even when I lost (to Blake in Olympic qualifiers). Big up everybody, my grandmother, everybody, and the Four Corner Group, big you guys up. Big up Jamaica, to the world.”