Saturday, August 04, 2012
Usain Bolt: Peak Performance Case Study (2008)
Usain Bolt: The Fastest Man on Earth
"I didn't know I was going to run so fast, but I came out to be a champion, and I was. I just tried to stay relaxed. I'm always relaxing. That's the way to go so fast: relax and just focus.
"I came out to make myself proud, and I did just that. I didn't know I was going to run so fast. But I came out to be a champion, and I was. I didn't come here to worry about the record, I was already the world-record holder."
--Usain Bolt, new 100-meter Olympic sprint champion and world record holder at 9.69 seconds.
Bolt could have run much faster than his 9.69 seconds if he had run through the finish line, but he sliced 0.03 seconds off his world record anyway. He celebrated 20 meters early, throwing out his arms and thumping his chest.
"He's the best. There's no stopping him. He could have been faster."
--Asafa Powell, former world-record holder and fellow Jamaican.
"It's not even close. It's everybody catching upwith Usain Bolt. He's a legend in his own right. The guy's a phenomenal athlete. He's a freak of nature. He's like Jordan and LeBron, in a league of his own."
--Darvis Patton, U.S.A. Olympic sprinter who finished eighth in the 100 meters.
“What Bolt has done, he’s made history. He added spirit to the sport. He danced for us in the introduction. He danced for us at the end. He put on a show. To me, I feel like, him and athletics is like Michael Phelps and swimming. He raised the bar for us in athletics.”
--Shawn Crawford, USA silver medal winner in the 200 meters.
Lightning Strikes Twice
Usain Bolt, already the Olympic champion and world record-holder in the 100 meters, ran the 200 meters in 19.30 seconds, breaking the world record by two-hundredths of a second. Bolt broke the world record of 19.32 seconds, set by the American Michael Johnson at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Bolt is the first to win gold in both the 100- and 200-meter events since Carl Lewis in 1984.
“I didn’t think I’d see under .30 in my lifetime. He’s a freak of nature."
--Renaldo Nehemiah, former Olympic gold medalist in the 100 hurdles.
“It was the most impressive athletic performance I have ever seen in my life.”
Excerpts from the New York Times 8/20/2008.