Usain Bolt after winning the 100m 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
You can’t help but smile at the sight of Usain Bolt running.
least I can’t.
There is something about the seemingly ridiculous ease
with which the Jamaican strides at speeds no human apart from himself has ever
reached that brings you to shake your head in disbelief with the silliest of
Bolt’s antics and infectious smile sure make him a lovable
character, but it is his performances which produce spontaneous bouts of
Bolt has made a mockery of everything we previously believed
about sprinting, or for that matter, the limits of the human body in
The 25-year-old possesses the most basic of gifts, that of
He can run faster than any human in history and it is the
simplicity of his audacious talent that makes him such an irresistible force,
both on and off the track.
Obviously, Bolt has trained exceedingly hard
for much of his life to do what he does, but there is something about the 100
meters that makes you feel like it is entirely decided by God-given
Safe to say, Bolt has been blessed as much as any other
individual in the history of sports.
Nevertheless, the powers of this
super-human seemed to be waning in recent years following erratic
After blasting onto the scene with three stunning golds and
world records at the Beijing Games four years ago, Bolt improved his records in
the 100m and 200m even further at the 2009 World Championships.
stuttered into London after being beaten by countryman Yohan Blake in both the
100m and 200m in the Jamaican trails, and with the three fastest men in history
apart from himself contesting Tuesday’s 100m final, there were question marks
being raised on whether he would be able to defend his title.
shouldn’t have been.
He proved that he is the only one who can beat
himself, shattering the dreams of his rivals on the way to defending his 100m
crown with the second fastest time ever run, crossing the line after 9.63
seconds, only five hundredths slower than the world record he set at the World
Championships in Berlin three years ago.
Bolt joined Carl Lewis as the
only man to repeat as Olympic 100m champion and left little doubt regarding the
identity of the greatest sprinter of all time.
But there is more to Bolt
than titles or records.
He transcends his sport in a way very few others
The 100m has always been more than a sporting event, appealing to an
audience which has otherwise no interest in athletics, but is fascinated with
the capabilities of its fellow humans.
Bolt’s awe-inspiring records have
resulted in him often being described as intergalactic.
But in fact, it
is quite the opposite.
It is as if he is running for the entire human
race, proving to us all what we are capable of.
No wonder he brings a
smile to my face.