Is there anything better than watching someone run really really fast? Running is the most elemental sport. It requires no ball, no net, no beam, no bar, no water, no board, no horse, no team—just the earth and the runner’s feet (or blades).
I’ve enjoyed gymnastics and diving over the past week and a half, but the delay between performance and score always reminds me that these “sports” entail a good deal of subjective judgment. Not running. The moment the race is over, everyone watching knows exactly who won.
Usain Bolt is my kind of champion. No false modesty here—because any modesty would indeed be false. How dumb would he have to be to not perceive his own greatness? How disingenuous would have to be to ignore it? I love it when, waiting for the race to begin, he fist-bumps any and all minor officials he comes across. He knows that he’s giving these mere mortals the chance to touch a god just prior to the moment of apotheosis.
I love that Bolt is from Jamaica, a country that is a world-beater in very few categories. I love that while he took the gold, two country-mates, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, took the silver and bronze.
Finally, could a sprinter have a better name than “Bolt”?