Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Lightning Bolt

As Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt spread his arms and slapped his chest before the crossing the finish of the 100-m sprint, many stunned fans shared a similar thought: "Usain, are you insane? That early celebration just cost you a world record." Then, the time flashed on the board: 9.69 seconds, the fastest dash in human history. Viewers' revised reaction was: "You've got to be kidding me." The 6'5" Bolt (has there ever been a better name for a champion sprinter?) followed his 100-m histrionics by shattering the 200-m world record four nights later — without any pre-finish theatrics — and winning a 4X100-m relay gold two days after that. Not everyone was so pleased with his stunning performance. Olympic purists criticized Bolt for celebrating before the finish — and in the process, not getting an even better record time. The only thing more shocking than Bolt's times (and behavior) was his pre-race diet, which consisted almost entirely of greasy chicken nuggets.