The 100 meters. It used to be the signature event at the Olympics. This is the event that Jesse Owens raced in 1936 in Berlin in front of Hitler. There was even a title for the men who won the race: “World’s Fastest Human”. But much of the allure of the Olympic 100 meter dash was tarnished 20 years ago when the explosive Canadian Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids.
Fast forward to Beijing, China 2008 – I am now ready to offer redemption to the 100 and crown a new king. The king’s name is Usain Bolt. The 21 year old from Jamaica, blazed the fastest 100 meters in history. And he did it easily. He slowed down, raised his arms in victory yards from the finish and still destroyed the world record. At least for now the new record is timed out at 9.69 – it will remain an Olympic record for another four years. But Usain Bolt may come back to the next Olympic Games having pushed the world record to an unheard of 9.5 or lower. Some believe that is what he could have run in the final had he not prematurely celebrated. His lead and his speed was just that amazing!
Still, Bolt’s victory was beyond stunning. He knocked off countryman and former world record holder Asafa Powell and the rest of the field so convincingly that it would be hard to see anyone beating him – ever. Usain Bolt is big, and tall and fast. He is truly the world’s fastest human.