Usain Bolt : The Spirit of Sport

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Pablo Picasso was destined to be a great painter, Albert Einstein a great physicist, Mozart to write great symphonies. Whenever we look back at the lives of the ‘greats’, we can’t help but think that they were custom built to succeed in what they did succeed in. If you’ve ever watched Roger Federer play, you would have most definitely thought that this man was custom built by God to play Tennis. Every sport has such people, who leave you in awe of their talents and may be in a moment of weakness, make you crib and question God’s equal love to all mankind. I know I have often had those moments when I see Tiger Woods play. My exploits with the golf club are the sort that will probably make it to a ‘compilation of the worst ever: ugliest shots of the game’. Until now, I used what I call the untalented person’s mantra to feel good about themselves, ” Its better to be a jack of all trades in this generation of multitasking and convergence than the master of one”.  This worked perfectly till; the Bolt from Jamaica hit me! Usain Bolt, is there anything this man can’t do? I mean it’s sick how good he is at everything sport. The man can run 100 meters in a record 9.58 seconds (the time it took me to type 9.58!). He also holds the record for the fastest 200 metres run and just to be doubly sure, the second fastest time as well. He and his teammates also hold the 4×100 metres relay. Okay, we all know the man can run!

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He can also however, play football. He claimed to be a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United when he was in England for the 150 metres run.  He joined the United team for practice and met Cristiano Ronaldo (sigh) and gave him sprinting lessons. He went and saw United play live and along the way found time to run the last 100 m of the150metres race in 8.70, the fastest ever recorded time over a 100 m distance. May be he was in too much of a hurry to get to the Manchester United game! Recently, he seems to have changed his allegiance from Manchester United to Real Madrid where he went to see his favourite footballer Cristiano Ronaldo where he was asked who would win between him and Ronaldo in a 100 race metres with a football at their feet. Usain said,” Definitely I think I can do that. I don’t think Cristiano can beat me. I’m the fastest man in the world so I can do that.”

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I don’t think Ronaldo would disagree with Bolt. If there is anything related to sport, Bolt can do it just a little better than anyone else. He definitely proved what a sport phenomenon he was when he joined West Indies batsman Chris Gayle and his team consisting of pace bowlers Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose in a mini tournament to raise funds for school sports equipment. Usain Bolt has often said that Cricket is his first love and that if he weren’t a sprinter he would have been a fast bowler but no one I think expected him to not only hit a superb six off the legendary Chris Gayle’s off-spin but also bowl out the former West Indies opening batsman. That is the thing about Bolt despite being perfect; he can still manage to up his game.

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What makes Bolt even more extraordinary is that he isn’t merely a player. Anyone, with talent and perseverance and hard work can achieve considerable success as a player. Bolt is a true sportsman who gives a whole lot to charity and promoting sport. He is one of those sportspeople who values good sportsmanship over gamesmanship, which explains why he wants his favourite footballer to stay on his feet more. He epitomises sportsmanship  and it was for all to see when he raced a local child during his visit to a school in Thessaloniki in Greece and let him win. The joy on the little kid’s face says all about the phenomenon that is Usain St. Leo Bolt (Usain St. Joy Bolt!).

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