Ahoy there, mateys!
Although I have long since launched myself down the piratical road less traveled, there is one area not entirely covered by my less than legal content gathering escapades – live sports.
Last night I sent our cabin boy up to the crow’s nest with a foil covered salad bowl and a coat hanger and by repeating a series of pre-arranged tai chi moves, he was able to provide the entire crew with a clear signal straight from the BBC’s feed inside the Olympic stadium in London. Glorious.
We all watched in awe as Usain Bolt defended his crown running the 100m in the second fastest time ever recorded. The commentators tried to suggest that Bolt was vulnerable coming into these games. Usain Bolt was not vulnerable. They lingered on the other athletes who might have caused an upset. Usain Bolt did not linger. After a thrilling semi-final performance, Michael Johnson, a spectacular Olympian in his own right and current 400m world record holder, stated boldly that the 100m final was Bolt’s to lose. Usain Bolt did not lose.
After the race, Bolt completed the traditional lap of honor. He draped himself in his national flag rightly asserting his position as the second greatest Jamaican of all time (One below Bob Marley, just above Grace Jones and Michael Holding in joint third).
Later he stood with the BBC’s trackside reporter and answered some questions. Usain Bolt responded politely and with charm. He had nothing bitter to say to the people who doubted him. He had said it all on the track. He had nothing but praise for his rival and team mate Yohan Blake who took the silver medal. He predicted Blake would continue to improve. Usain Bolt spoke like a man at peace, aware of his talent and respectful of it. In short, he was a mensch.
It’s harder and harder to find people on our screens who are genuinely worthy of our admiration. In the four years since Beijing, Bolt has remained refreshingly scandal free. Today on the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence, I can’t imagine any country being prouder of one of its sons.