Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Track Heroes: In Lane 8...

Usain St. Leo Bolt! Bolt has quickly made his way onto the lists of favorite track athletes or track heroes of hundreds of thousands of track fans around the world in recent years. For good reason this man who is at the pinnacle of sprinting competitors has become one of the most exciting spectacles to see in the sport of Track & Field. Although many may look at Bolt and say they see a man with a cocky, “I’m-the-best-and-I-know-it”, attitude, or an athlete who does not take his sport seriously, I, for one, cannot agree with them.

Usain Bolt might be a little cocky, but hey, he can back it up. Sure Bolt goes out onto the track before his races and showboats and clowns around with the audience for a bit, but track & field events around the globe are sold out simply by Bolt being present there. He is a man that works hard at what he does, but also loves, and has fun, doing it.

Bolt is an incredibly fun and exciting runner to watch. Not only does he give you a show before and after races, but seeing him tear up the track as he barrels toward the finish line, is a very fun spectacle to witness. Standing at about 6 feet 5 inches, and a weighing in at a little over 200 pounds, Bolt is a big man on the track. His stride is insane! And the power in his movements as he gallops down the track, seemingly leaving his competitors in the dust, is incredible. Not only is he just fun to watch run, his races are the most exciting to watch because a lot of the time you will catch him setting records or winning championships.

Setting seven world records, three of which were in the 100 meter, two in the 200 meter, and two in th 4x100 meter relay, Bolt is a superstar among the track community. He also holds a world record in the 150 meter at 14.35 seconds, and a second fastest time behind Michael Johnson in the 300 meter at 30.97 seconds. Bolt’s 100 meter record currently stands at 9.58 seconds, 200 meter record at 19.19 seconds, and the 4x100 meter relay record at 37.04 seconds. Usain won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He also won first place medals in those three events at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany. In 2011, Bolt took first place in the 200 meter and 4x100 meter relay at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. An unfortunate false start caused Bolt to be disqualified in the 100 meter at the 2011 World Championships, but he brushed it off and went out and won the 200m later in the competition. Despite this unfortunate incident, Bolt’s career has picked up speed and gained momentum and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Bolt is currently one of my top 8 track heroes because of the accomplishments that he has made, the fact that he is so charismatic and exciting to watch at meets where he competes, and that he has brought so much more media and mainstream attention to my favorite sport. Keep doing what you’re doing Bolt. I’d like to see a few more WRs at this year’s Olympics in London.

Join me next week where I will introduce my track heroes in lanes 7 and 6 and profile a couple more of my favorite athletes.

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