Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Cheetah Unleashed

Usain Bolt reminds me of the young and brash Muhammad Ali who could electrify a crowd with his mere presence. Track & Field needed a shot in the arm; it got more, a lightning bolt. Three gold medals, three world records (100-meter, 9.69s, 200-meter, 19.30s, 4x100-meter relay, 37.10s). What an accomplishment! If anyone had suggested last week that Michael Phelps could be eclipsed in "mindshare" among Olympics viewers around the globe, he would have been laughed off. Yet that is what has happened. The Bolt phenomenon is real and here to stay. He is a cheetah unleashed. Against his grim and "purpose-driven" competitors, Bolt's breezy supremacy is a joy to behold.

Back in Jamaica, Bolt's father attributed his son's success to the nutritional (some say magical) value of the lowly yam, a staple in northwestern Jamaica where the speedster was born. Aspring sprinters here will probably ensure that in grocery stores throughout America there will be no more "silence of the yams."

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