It’s all about Bolt

The IOC president, Jacques Rogge, says that Usain Bolt cannot decide whether he has become a legend ahead of other legends. But he calls the Jamaican an icon. By Kamesh Srinivasan.

In the Olympic Games, athletics is the ultimate show. And this time again, it is Usain Bolt who steals the show with three gold medals, including an Olympic record (9.63s in the 100 metres) and an incredible World record (36.84s in the sprint relay). The 80,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium and millions around the world could not have asked for anything more.

Following his double (100m and 200m victories), the Jamaican declares he has become a ‘legend’. Bolt signals ‘silence’ before the finish of the 200m, telling the ‘doubters’ to stop talking.

Well, did he not become a legend after winning the three gold medals in the Beijing Games, all with World records? Did he not become a legend when he swept another three gold medals, two of them in World record times, in the Berlin World Championship in 2009, you wonder.

The IOC president, Jacques Rogge, is not amused and says that Bolt cannot decide whether he has become a legend ahead of other legends. But he calls the Jamaican an icon.

When asked, Bolt answers with a question: “The next time you see him, ask him what Usain needs to do to be called a legend?” He then reels out his achievements.

Someone asks him how he posed with the girls of the Swedish handball team after having said that he would wait to celebrate his 100m gold after finishing the other events. Bolt lets out a big guffaw and says, “Let me explain,” and provides a blow-by-blow account.

“I went to the cafeteria to get some food. The Swedish girls called, ‘Hi Usain’, and we talked a bit and exchanged some ideas. Then we took a few pictures with my typical pose,” he says.

Bolt has posted one of the pictures on Twitter. He promises to tweet again if he meets the same girls in the party to celebrate the World record.

Even as Bolt confirms that he is not retiring, and would be setting his goals soon, a lady asks him what type of girl he would like to have as a friend — an actress, a queen, a singer, or the fastest woman in the world.

“Naaaaah,” says Bolt, mocking annoyance about the idea of the fastest girl being his match; he then says it is a tough question.

“I don’t know. It is all about falling in love. Doesn’t matter what she does, really,” he says.

There is no dearth of entertainment. Forget all the crazy stuff that Bolt does on the track; here’s the women’s high jump silver medallist, Brigetta Barrett of the United States, who beats Bolt for once, by actually singing a song in the media conference. She wins a kiss of appreciation from the gold medal winner, Anna Chicherova of Russia, sitting next to her.

Brigetta has a nice voice, and her thoughts are profound. “If you are not enjoying what you are doing, and if you do things for the money, then you sacrifice the gift that you received,” she says.

Her song is: ‘Lord am available. Do with me what you want. I don’t deserve anything. Am born a sinner, and keep sinning’.

Mo Farah takes one’s breath away by winning the 5000m to add to the 10,000m gold he had won earlier. The whole of Britain has been waiting for the moment. He is a great friend of Bolt and the two go a long way. Bolt does a Mo salute and says that it was joy watching him win the 5000m gold.

Farah does push-ups and sit-ups after winning to entertain the crowd. He tells the media that he really needed the two gold medals because his wife was expecting twins and that he cannot see one of them with the gold and the other without it.

Bolt runs his hardest in the 4x100m relay for a World record 36.84 seconds. Team-mate Yohan Blake refutes people calling the Jamaicans robots and tells them that he is the ‘Beast from Mars’.

Bolt rates the relay gold over his individual gold medals and says that he enjoys competing in a team for Jamaica and sharing the World record with his team-mates. He hopes that the crowd would forgive him for running hard and straight in the relay, and not smiling or cutting a pose at the finish.

“I was really running hard and was focused on running as fast as I could, because we wanted the World record,” Bolt says.

The Jamaican superstar wants to keep the baton, but one of the officials takes it away from him quoting “rules”. The crowd boos.

Bolt, however, gets the baton back, but discloses that the official actually threatened to disqualify him if the baton was not returned.

“It was weird,” says the champion sprinter.

There is some cheer in the Indian camp as wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt wins the nation’s fifth medal. It is the ‘repechage’ that paves the way for India, as Yogeshwar wins three bouts in the space of about an hour to win the bronze medal after having lost his pre-quarterfinals to the four-time World champion Besik Kudukhov of Russia.

It’s mission partially accomplished for India.