Thursday, September 18, 2008

Usain Bolt's World Record

If you're like me you watched this year's Olympic games every night that they were broadcast, and if so you saw Usain Bolt of Jamaica officially become the world's fastest man after winning the 100 meter dash. If you're also like me you hate the showboating and grandstanding displayed by highly talented athletes after they kick a significant amount of ass in their respective sports and Bolt was no different; a study by The New Scientist answers a question I've had ever since his premature celebration in Beijing:

HOW quickly would Usain Bolt have run the 100 metres at the Beijing Olympics if he hadn't slowed in celebration before the finish line? A team of physicists have calculated an answer: the Jamaican gold medallist could have slashed his time from 9.69 seconds to 9.55 seconds.

In the final 20 metres of the race on 16 August, Bolt extended his arms and thumped his chest in celebration, slowing himself a little. But he still broke the world record he himself had set in May.

Now I assume that pretty much every reader of this little blog of mine is not the world's best at anything, and if you are why are you wasting training time reading my stuff? So I, and I assume you the reader too, could only imagine what it must feel like to run that fast and receive the accolades that Bolt has so I'll employ the posterity argument instead: that's your name next to a world record! You couldn't hold your shit together to compete professionally for ten fucking seconds? I know the guy is only 21 but come on: just try to show some humility and class while you're on the world stage. Your country will thank you for it later.


Intrepid Californio said...

It's just not that kind of world. Humility is no longer seen as necessary component of many curricula. It's a shame.

Anonymous said...

I hear he's boastful, but I've also read that these athletes have a lot to gain financially from keeping world records within breakable distance. The more times he breaks that 100m record, the more times he cashes in. I understand there's a female pole vaulter raising the bar by a mere inch every time she competes.

Just saying.

JBW said...

PK, I hear what you're saying and I totally agree but one l wrote something that I'd never considered before. That makes total sense and I feel foolish for not having thought of it before now. I guess if your job is just being a good athlete and breaking records, with your endorsement and perhaps book deals being your only real sources of income then it behooves you to manage your record breaking and stretch and milk your career for as long as you can. I guess I get caught up in the "amateur athlete" and "competing with honor" and "for the love of the sport" propoganda sometimes. Point taken (and I just became that much more cynical).