Monday, August 18, 2008

Entertaining or Aggravating?

I watched the final of the Men's 100 meter race at the Beijing Olympics and was absolutely stunned at the performance of Usain Bolt from Jamaica.

This guy is 6'5" and blew away the field on his way to a new world record of 9.69.

That was stunning.

What happened next was also stunning, but for a completely different reason.

Bolt started his post-race celebration during the race. With about 20 meters to go, Bolt broke his running form, spread his arms wide and then began to pound his chest (which is my least favorite celebratory gesture of all).

Who knows how fast his time could have been if he had kept his form and run hard all the way to the end? He may have set the record at an almost incomprehensible time - maybe even sub-9.6.

I heard on the radio today that track and field athletes get bonus money for breaking world records and perhaps Bolt was easing up so it would be easier for him to break the world record again. I don't know if that's what happened or not, but if so it was an even more disgusting display.

So, what was your reaction? Did you think Bolt's race and celebration was entertaining or aggravating?


Janelle Prenkert said...

Frustrating. I commented to Derry last night about the exact same thing. You never end your race until the you cross the finish line.

When you go to the Olympics, you give it your all, not half way. Even if you are guaranteed a win. He definitely could have had an even better time.


becky said...

My extended family was all in town and we watched that race together. We had a mixed reaction.
Some thought is was great that he wasn't worried about records. He came to win...he won. Why does there need to be more? I wonder if dominating and setting records and having to be the best EVER is a western mentality. Maybe it's more dependent on culture. Of course, he IS the best ever regardless of if he could have been better.
And if he slowed down to break more records in the future and make more money...why is that so disgusting? Maybe it is the best financial decision for his family, for his country...who knows? It is his job afterall...
Just throwing some thoughts out there. :)

the Peterson family said...

Please understand, I ran some track in my day back in middle school (I ran track one year) so you can see that I am speaking from a whole lot of experience. It didn't bother me one bit about what happened at the end. I think anyone who can run 100 meters and look back to see his competitors is incredible. I doubt he relaxed for any selfish or wrong feelings. Just my take.