Saturday night — 6-foot-5-inch Usain Bolt of Jamaica — won the 100-meter race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and, in grabbing the gold, he lost so much more.


With 25-meters left in the race, and with Usain in the lead, he pulled up — not lame, but on purpose — to showboat and gloat and humiliate his competitors.
 
You can see in the three images below how Usain — during the race — lowered his arms, looked around and then started to beat his chest in hollow victory”



Usian didn’t humiliate his competitors or even the Olympics — he degraded himself and his new World Record because he did not try his best.  You never slow down during a race unless you are injured.

Instead of running against history for time and instead of challenging himself on a world stage to achieve an immortal personal greatness — he merely ran fast enough just to beat his competitors — and doing “just enough” to win is not how a True Olympian behaves or races.

In fact, many believe Usain could have set a truly extraordinary World Record if he had only demanded the best from himself: 

After Bolt — in only his eighth 100 final — broke his previous world record of 9.72 with a 9.69, there were two main questions.

“It looked like he could have gone 9.54 seemingly,” said Marc Burns of Trinidad & Tobago, who finished seventh (10.01).

“It had to cost him some,” said Tyson Gay, No. 3 all time, who failed to make the final in his first competition since a hamstring injury six weeks ago. “Maybe he could have (gone) 0.60 low or some say 59. It’s amazing.”

When you look at Usain and his Word Record, you can only wonder, “What could he have done if he only tried?”

Usain Bolt may be the fastest man on earth — but he has forever
tainted his win and stained his gold medal with bad sportsmanship by
defeating the purpose of the Olympics:  Do your best and be a good
example for others to follow for inspiration.

13 Comments

  1. I wonder what he was thinking when he was doing it. Maybe it makes it easier to beat his own record again if he goes just fast enough to beat the previous record but not fast enough that his new record will be unbeatable by him? Oh, dizzy.

  2. Gordon! Heh! Now that’s a head-spinner. I think a lot of it has to do with his immaturity. He’s 19-years-old.
    He has, however, been running “professionally” since he was 15 — so he certainly knows what he’s doing and how and why to finish a race.
    http://www.iaaf.org/news/athletes/newsid=36356.html
    We may be dealing with the curse of natural talent here — he’s so blessed he has no idea how much luck and fate are playing his hands. I think that’s what bothers me the most about him — his laziness of expectation.

  3. Wow. He really thumped his chest. I thought that was just a figure of speech you were using.
    Is it just my browser or has something happened to the right hand side of the urb? It seems awfully blank to me.

  4. Gordon!
    Yes, the chest-thumping was crude. I also found the Michael Phelps histrionics tasteless as well — though the more Phelps won, the quieter he got, and that was a good sign that he was easing into his role model role.

  5. Ouch!
    Good eye on ye, Gordon! I wish you’d notified me earlier about the missing sidebars. I was playing around with the MT 4.2 upgrade requirements and broke ’em! Email me next time, please as soon as you see something broken like that.

  6. Will do, David.
    BTW: An amusing note about Phelps: apparently the way his name is pronounced in Japanese is very similar to the way the word herpes is pronounced; consequently, some people inadvertently call him Herpes.

  7. Gordon —
    Thanks for the interesting insight into Phelps. That’s pretty funny about the translation of his name!
    I have a feeling Phelps won’t do as well as his handlers think he will in the marketplace. $100 million in sponsorship deals? He doesn’t have the face or the personality to pull it off beyond the swimmer’s niche.
    The only current USA Olympian who really has the look and the personality to do well long after the games is gymnast Shawn Johnson — but she didn’t win any Gold, so she’s not going to end up with any money or any big shots, I fear.

  8. Hi David,
    i’ve never seen someone win the 100m with such a big margin! enough for him to put on such a sad display. he was obviously not concentrating enough.
    It now seems that he’s content with competing with others. when he should be competing with himself!

  9. UPDATE:
    I received a text message from the NY Times that Shawn Johnson just won a Gold Medal on the balance beam! Will that be enough to give her a superstar career?

  10. Hi David,
    Today’s date “winning” matters, not the sportsman spirit – which shows respect to the spirit of the game.
    Usain Bolt is no exception – sad though.

  11. I think that’s the problem with sports today, Katha. Winning isn’t everything, though we’re faked into thinking that’s a truth now. Winning should be about honor and grace as well.