By Louis Ritchie, TrackAlerts.Com Contributor
Sometimes I wonder if Usain Bolt’s show boating will ever end! Bolt has proved to the world, that he’s the fastest man alive, but he’s also proved, that he’s one of the classless winners, Track & Field has ever seen! He knows how to win races, but doesn’t know how to win with class, while doing it. I don’t think that Bolt really knows how fast his world record of (9.58)in the 100 meter dash, could have been even faster in the finals of the event at the 2008 Olympics!
Bolt set the world’s record of (9.69) at the 2008 Olympics, and ‘I believe to this day’ he could have run faster than his current world record of (9.58) if he didn’t “showboat” before the finish line!
Of all my years of watching Track & Field, I’ve never seen anybody showboat, before the finish line, of the 100 meter dash, at the finals of the Olympics like Usain Bolt did, at the 2008 Olympics! I know he was only 20 years old, when he won his first Olympic gold medal and decided to showboat and look cute at the finish line, but now that he’s 28 years old, and more mature, you’d think that the showboating would end, and he’d win with class by now.
I put him and Justin Gatlin in the same boat, because neither one of them, knows how to win with class! I’ve never seen any of the other athletes other than his teammate, congratulate Bolt after winning his races. The reason they don’t congratulate Bolt after his races, is that he’s too busy, showboating in front of the crowd!
Why don’t Bolt take a little time, to turn around and walk toward the other athletes after he wins his races, and give the other athletes a chance to congratulate him, on his wins?
That’s one of the reasons I enjoy seeing people like Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Allyson Felix, Veronica Campbell Brown, Tyson Gay, Danfe Schippers, etc. win races, because they know how to win with class! They know how to take time to congratulate the other athletes on their accomplishments ‘if they win or lose’! Showing good sportsmanship is something you’re supposed to learn while still in grade school.
Evidently, Bolt never learned that as a kid growing up, and it seems he’ll never learn it before his career is over with! That’s why I love Jesse Owens, and Carl Lewis, so much, (they knew how to win, or lose with class)! When Ben Johnson beat Carl Lewis at the 1988 Olympics in the 100 meter dash ‘even though Ben was on drugs’ the first person the congratulate Ben Johnson was Carl Lewis! I know down deep inside, Carl had to be hurting, but he still show his class and sportsmanship, and congratulated Ben Johnson on his Olympic win!
Also to me, one of the greatest jesters of good sportsmanship and class, was when Jesse Owens won an indoor 50 yard dash race against his rival, Eulace Peacocks, but found out after his win, that Eulace Peacock slipped out of his blocks! Jesse said, after he found out, that Peacock, slipped out of his blocks, “he didn’t want to win the race that way”, knowing that Peacock had slipped and demanded that the race be run over again! So the officials decided to honor Jesse’s wishes, and the race was run over again, and Jesse lost to Eulace Peacock on the second race!
NOW THAT’S THE UPMOST CLASS AND SPORTMANSIP FROM JESSE OWENS, YOU DON’T SEE TODAY, IN A LOT OF ATHLETES, ESPECIALLY USAIN BOLT!
I hope the day will come, when Usain Bolt, will learn how to win, or lose with class, before his career is over with!
**The views expressed in this article are those of the author (Louis Ritchie) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, TrackAlerts.Com