Usain Bolt has done it again, winning the gold medal in the 100-meter sprint for the third time. Going into it, Bolt’s eyes were on the gold.
“I came to this Olympics to win three gold medals. I came to put myself again as one of the greats. And that’s my focus. So if, by any chance, I fail, I’m going to feel sad. Of course I’m not going to feel accomplished.”
When he emerged from the tunnel, before the race even began, the crowd was mesmerized and fell silent as Usain Bolt interacted with them. Part of what people enjoy about the fastest man on the planet is his charisma, and Usain knows it.
Yahoo Sports quotes him as saying, “Sports is looking for people who are full of energy and vibes. That’s what gets them going: the hype. They like to be part of the competition. Not so much watching it.”
Usain created that energy as soon as the crowd laid eyes on him.
He was slow out of the blocks at the start of last night’s 100-meter sprint. It put him in next to last place. Usain said about his slow start, “I just said, ‘Take your time and chip away.'” And that’s what he did.
USA Today described Bolt’s performance in the race like this.
“… suddenly, about 60 or 70 meters into the race, it became clear… if you put him in front of a crowd and tell him a gold medal is on the line, Bolt will fly. He sprinted by the second- and third-fastest men on earth like they were on Acme jet powered roller skates. And, after an exhilarating three or four second burst, the race was won. Before Bolt got to the finish line, he turned left and mugged for the camera. As he got to the finish line, he pounded his chest in victory.”
Bolt’s celebration began immediately, raising his index finger as he finished first. He pulled off his cleats, turned his hat around, and with the Jamaican flag draped over his right shoulder, gave onlookers his famous “To the World” pose as the crowd chanted, “Bolt, Bolt, Bolt.” It was one of those moments you get only during the Olympics.
ESPN noted that Usain had not run a 100 since June 30 when he suffered a hamstring injury. That injury resulted in Bolt pulling out of the Jamaican national championships. Many wondered how he would perform in last night’s race. It turned out there was no need to worry. He was as thrilling to watch as he ever is.
His Olympic experience is over yet. Usain Bolt has more races to run in Rio. He has said that his favorite race is the men’s 200-meter race. Qualifications for that one begin on Tuesday. Then there’s the 4×100 relay on Friday. Usain will turn 30 on the day of the 2016 Olympics closing ceremony. He has said that there will be no more Olympics for him after this one. Two more races. In the mind of Usain Bolt, that means two more medals.
“Somebody said I can become immortal. Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal.”
In 2008, Usain Bolt became the first man to win both the 100-meter and the 200-meter races in record time at the Olympics. In 2012, he made his mark on history again when he became the first man to win gold medals two Olympics in a row for the 100-meter and 200-meter races and the first man to set three world records in one Olympics. His 100-meter win last night makes Usain the first man to win the 100-meter race in three consecutive Olympic games.
[Photo by Martin Meissner/AP Images]