BOLT STRIKES TWICE – 2 WORLD RECORDS & 2 GOLDS: Top 12 Ways To Win A Men’s 100m Race In 2012 And Beyond
I had to speak right now and join in on the Jamaican Jamboree, as of approx. 10:20 AM in B’dos time, Usain Bolt do the double – get 100 & 200 metre Gold! Not since Carl Lewis in 1984 and even more, he burst Michael Johnson’s 1996 record of 19.32 down to 19.3 seconds, yuh ramgoat! Johnson sneered that Usain could not make it to 19.5, hah! Plus dem Jamaican gyals did wreck de track too – BUYAKA!
2. Have the starter point his pistol at Usain Bolt’s head (make sure it is a Glock 45 instead)
3. Have a hitman break Usain Bolt’s legs pre-race
4. Get Usain Bolt to fly with LIAT (he bound to arrive late)
6. Tell Usain Bolt that he has to start the race in his track suit, stop at the 50m mark, take it off, change his shoes and then continue (oops, sorry, he’d still win)
7. Tell Usain Bolt he has to run backwards to the finish line (oops, sorry again, he’d still win)
8. Tie Usain Bolt’s shoe laces together
9. Tell Usain Bolt that the Men’s 100m is a race for chi chi men only
10. Have Usain Bolt start in the blocks while the other contenders start at the 80m mark (oops, another sorry, he’d still win)
11. Have Usain Bolt run the egg in the spoon 100m while the others run it normally (again he wins)
Can you imagine if he had chosen to REJECT the medals? For what reason, you may ask –
Living in Guyana has just learnt from Beijing that officials are in a quandary after record shattering Olympic 100m champion Jamaican Usain Bolt informed them that he will not accept the gold medal for the event as he is unhappy with the world record as it currently stands.
Bolt is claiming that the world record ought to be 9.68 (which is what the official clock showed immediately after the race was completed but this was later adjusted to 9.69).
Said Bolt, “Me is a Juh-may-kan boss and Jamaican nah inna de 69 bizniss suh meh we tek eidda de 9.68 or unno could mek de record stay at 9.72.”
Bolt is insistent that he will not attend the 100m Olympic medal ceremony if action is not quickly taken.
Bolt is reported to have told his team mates, “dem musse mad if dem tink me we go back a yawd wid 9.69, bad man don’t eat unda no two foot table, bad man ah bad man, dem too facety, fuss dem put me to run wid a man name Gay and now dem want tarnish badman image by branding me wid 69, me nah inna dat. Dem could check wid meh gyurl, I man not inna de 69 ting.”
My thanks to a regional sports enthusiast, who’s a regular contributor in a different capacity… Ahem, now here’s a fellow Jamaican’s view on the World’s Fastest (C’bean) Man shortly before his twin victories –
‘Cool Runnings’ Are Heating Up
Call me ‘licky-licky.’ A few years ago, 26 to be precise, I thought I’d leave Jamaica and move to New York to write. Now I have a U.S. passport, two American publishers, and a writing residency at a small New England college where one of my favorite writers — a Mr. Nabokov — used to teach. I owe this country a lot. Some would say everything. But now that the Olympics are here, there’s a good chance that my loyalties will change.
So call me licky licky — ‘flaky‘ in Jamaican English. But it’s hard not to get caught up in the island’s Olympic dreams. In Beijing, where 28 sports will be contested, Jamaica stands a serious chance of winning the bulk of the men’s and women’s sprints — the 100 meters, the 200 meters and the 4×100-meter relays.
Perhaps the most exciting figure in track and field these days is 21-year-old Jamaican speedster Usain Bolt. At 6-feet-5-inches tall, he’s as naturally proportioned for his sport as a jockey with a 60-inch waist. But this didn’t stop him from setting the world record in the 100 meters with a 9.72-second run at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York this year. It also hasn’t stopped him from cruising to the year’s fastest time in the 200 meters — 19.67.
In setting the record for the hundred, Mr. Bolt did two astonishing things. He crushed top American sprinter Tyson Gay, who ran 9.85 for second place. He also opened up a rivalry with the previous record holder — another Jamaican — 25-year-old Asafa Powell, setting up a three-way showdown in Beijing.
The competition is just as stiff among the women. Muna Lee’s winning time of 10.85 for the 100 at the U.S. trials would have earned a second place at the Jamaican trials, which Kerron Stewart won in 10.80. In fact, the second- and third-place American finishers wouldn’t have made the Jamaican team.
The Jamaican women are even more dominant over 200 meters. Ms. Stewart and her compatriots — 2004 Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, Sherone Simpson and Shelly-Ann Fraser — have run the five fastest times for the year.
Jamaica’s success in track and field is a secret hidden in plain view. At last year’s IAAF World Athletics Championships in Japan, Jamaica, a nation of 2.75 million people, finished seventh in the
medal standings, ahead of larger, richer countries such as Britain, China, France and Brazil.
Since making its debut in 1948 at the London Games, Jamaica has won seven golds, 21 silvers and 13 bronzes in athletics at the Olympics. Arthur Wint and Herb McKenley finished 1-2 in the 400 meters at those Games. Since then, the Olympics have seen medal-winning performances on the track from a list of outstanding athletes competing for Jamaica, including Donald Quarrie and Merlene Ottey.
The Olympics have also seen great performances from Jamaican-born athletes representing other countries, most notably 1992 100-meter gold medalist Linford Christie (U.K.) and 1996 100-meter gold medalist Donovan Bailey (Canada).
At the Winter Games, the pluck of the Jamaican bobsled team inspired the 1993 Disney movie ‘Cool Runnings.’ (The phrase is the literal equivalent of ‘smooth sailing‘ or ‘adi?s.’)
However, the list of famous Jamaican-born athletes also includes Ben Johnson, who in 1988 was banned for steroid use after winning the 100-meter final in Seoul (he was running for Canada). Ms. Ottey had a two-year suspension overturned a few months before the Sydney Games in 2000, where she won a relay medal at the age of 40. And last week, sprint relay alternate Julien Dunkley was removed from the team heading to Beijing for testing positive for a banned substance.
Mr. Dunkley has reportedly denied taking drugs.
Jamaica’s love of speed seems at odds with its hard-nosed commitment to nonchalance. On this island, nothing is done in a hurry. The most urgent request is often met with, ‘Soon come.’
On first hearing, one might think this phrase means, ‘In a minute.’ On third and fourth hearing (which might come after an hour of waiting), the meaning becomes quite clear —
‘When time permits‘ — which may in fact be never.But being at odds is not at odds with how Jamaicans see their country or themselves. They understand their country to be a contrary place. It is after all one of the most violent places in the world, with more than 900 murders since the beginning of this year. At the same time, the island is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. It’s a paradise that many of its citizens would like to escape.
In fact, repatriation to Africa is one of the central tenets of the Rastafarian religion, which began in the slums of West Kingston in the 1930s and was spread around the world through reggae music. Migration is one of the central themes of Jamaican existence. To be Jamaican means to move — to Panama and other Central American countries in the 1920s, to Cuba in the 1930s, to New York in the 1940s, to London and other parts of England in the 1950s, to New Canada in the 1960s, to New York and Miami and Hartford, Conn., from the 1970s until now.
What does all this have to do with running fast? How does this have any bearing on why Jamaicans are so enamored with speed? Well, it has everything to do with it. The Jamaican love of sprinting, something you see when a hundred 12-year-olds take off across a dusty field after school, a phenomenon as spectacular as seeing a herd of antelope fleeing across a plain, is rooted in the notion of flight, in the notion of defiance and aspiration expressed in the grammar of the body. In sprinting, Jamaicans recognize the cadence of a lost body language.
It is a language that shapes the way they move in the same way that the language of the Yoruba people of Nigeria and the Akan people of Ghana, from whom millions of the islanders are descended, have indelibly shaped the way they speak. Sprinting is the physical argot of the runaway slave. For a slave, escape was an act of defiance, a loosely punctuated treatise, with commas and no full stops, on the topic of being free.
Every culture has its founding myths or narratives, its idealized self reduced to a few names and moments. We know what they are in America — Paul Revere riding through the night, Washington crossing the Delaware, etc. In Jamaica, the most deeply rooted narrative is that of the Maroons, the runaway slaves who formed resistance groups in the mountains and fought the British from 1655 to 1796, and finally forced the invaders to sign a treaty that allowed the rebels to remain an autonomous people.
Young Jamaicans become athletes because they want to escape. They know that if they run fast they can literally run away: on scholarship to an American university where they can get something more valuable than an Olympic medal — a degree, a profession. Mr. McKenley went to the University of Illinois on a track scholarship.
The same goes for Mr. Quarrie and Ms. Ottey at the University of Nebraska, for Ms. Stewart at Auburn and Ms. Campbell-Brown at the University of Arkansas.
The world has been fascinated with Jamaica’s success in sprinting since the island made its debut at the Olympics in 1948. However, the interest has intensified during the past several years because of a major shift in how Jamaica now produces its world-class sprinters. The island has decided to go local.
Messrs. Bolt and Powell turned down scholarships to American universities, deciding to study and train at the University of Technology (UTECH) in Kingston, which, despite its fancy-sounding name, has a grass track and an un-air-conditioned weight room. The first three finishers in the 100 meters at Jamaica’s Olympic trials — Messrs. Bolt, Powell and Michael Frater — have become stars on the international circuit under the grooming of local coaches Glen Mills and Stephen Francis. The same goes for Ms. Fraser and Ms. Simpson, who finished second and third in the women’s equivalent behind Ms. Stewart. It’s like the early days of reggae, when Bob Marley launched his career. Low tech, high ideals. Local talent. Global conquest.
There is something beautiful and redemptive in this. Something that suggests there is the possibility that Jamaica is able to compete on many levels, in many arenas — commerce, technology, agriculture — if it finds a way to harness the spirit of its sprinters and sell it. If it does, it will be following in the footprints of Puma, which used Jamaican iconography, including images of rastamen doing yoga poses and church ladies in cat-eyed glasses, to re-energize its brand in 2003.
Jamaica is a country in crisis. In addition to its high murder rate, it has one of the world’s highest rates of international debt. But Jamaica is a place where people have always managed to survive. The Jamaican people have perfected the art of making simple survival feel more like a celebration. They dance and make love and drink rum and plan for their children’s futures even as loved ones get murdered or succumb to disease. Defiance is a way of life.
I remember seeing videotapes of Mr. Bolt winning races at the national high-school athletic championships in Kingston when he was 15. He was already 6 feet tall, looking over his shoulder and smiling at the other runners like a father being chased around the backyard by this 8-year-old sons. He was like a man among boys. His hair had already started to recede.
At 21, Mr. Bolt still runs this way against grown men. At the Aviva London Grand Prix on July 26, he beat Wallace Spearmon, who qualified to represent the U.S. in Beijing, by half a second in the 200. Who wins like that in a sprint?
Like the nation that believes in him, Mr. Bolt runs as if he’s at odds with himself. The long legs move so smoothly you’d think the boy has counterweights instead of joints in his hips. But he holds his shoulders a bit too high. It makes you hold your breath in case it means he’s tying up. He does it more in the 200, especially when he’s coming off the bend, a little hunch and a little tug, a slight heave with every other stride. It makes him look like he’s throwing an uppercut with that strong right arm, like he’s fighting time. Nothing’s going to hold him back. He runs the way we all want to live our lives, like he’s free, like he can put distance between himself and anything he doesn’t want near him, like he can reach anywhere he wants to go.
In a country like Jamaica where economic realities can lead to despair, the myth of Bolt has special value. He has been fast ever since we’ve known him. And he’s still fast today. If he wins gold in Beijing, many of us will cry. The Olympics have a way of making us all suckers for the symbolic. Maybe it’s the torch.
And can one think of a better name for an Olympic hero than Bolt?
Novelist Colin Channer was born in Kingston, Jamaica. His most recent work of fiction is ‘The Girl With the Golden Shoes,’ a novella.
Wellesley Bolt, the father of the 100-metre world-record holder and 2008 Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt, sounded a nervously happy man yesterday evening when he confirmed that he is leaving for China today.
The senior Bolt was surprised yesterday when telecommunications giant Digicel called him and informed him that they would be flying him to Beijing, China, to join his son at the Olympics but, more important, to celebrate the Olympian’s 22nd birthday on Thursday.
The senior Bolt had told The Gleaner last Wednesday that he had made a personal decision not to accompany his son to China. “I don’t like long flights. I am scared of them,” he said.
However, he said at the time that he was considering flying to Germany for the 2009 World Championships.
They insisted – “Bwoy, they literally put a rope around my neck and say, ‘Mr Bolt, you have to go to China‘,” he said yesterday. “I told them no, I didn’t want to take that long flight, but they insisted that I have to be there to celebrate my son’s birthday with him.”
As he sat in a barber’s chair to get a new look ahead of his flight, he said: “I just have to cushion my mind and take the flight.
“I was trying to get around them, but I just could not beat them to it.”
“Do I have to go?” he recalled asking a Digicel representative.
“Sure you have to,” the representative responded.
Usain’s mother, Jennifer Bolt, is already at the Olympics and, judging from the televised coverage, it is obvious she is having a whale of a time.
Up to press time last evening, Wellesley Bolt said he had no idea what airline he was leaving on, nor had he any details as to where his first port of disembarkment would be.
“They (Digicel) are handling everything,” he said.