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Long live London legends

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Regardless of whatever sport you liked best at London 2012 Olympics—XXX Olympiad—there were just too many absolutely legendary efforts to select just one. The City of London, Mayor Boris Johnson and Olympics Pooba Lord Sebastian Coe, came up trumps. Papa, what a show! XXX was the full bomb! For me, the most difficult athletic races must be 400 metres flat, 400 metres hurdles - neither is a sprint or distance race, but hybrids thereof. Not far behind are 800 metres, 3,000 metres steeplechase, 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres. It brings full body shudders to just imagine the training required for those! In 400m, Grenada’s 19-year-old Kirani James cruised around Olympic Park like he owned it. That all medallists were Caribbean men – silver to Luguelin Santos; Dominican Republic; bronze to T&T’s until very recently relatively unknown, Lalonde Gordon - was not just incidental. It showed that ‘quick twitch” muscles, usually for great sprinting, can be elongated to accommodate any race too! Cricket-wise, Australia’s Sir Don Bradman was often called “White Headley”, while, conversely, Jamaica and West Indies batting legend George Headley was mostly called “Black Bradman.” When it comes to Grenada’s James and Kenya’s David Rudisha, it is the chicken and egg syndrome. Who will come first?
Rudisha was imperious in not only winning 800m flat, but breaking the world record with a run that defied logic. He never even seemed to breathe, so relaxed he was. His new world record, bettering only himself - 800m; 1 minute 40.91 seconds; first athlete anywhere to go below 1:41 for the two-lap battle!  Like another legend Michael Johnson did immediately after winning 400 metres at Atlanta 1996, then subsequently joining CNN broadcasters, after throwing his golden shoes into the crowd, Rudisha also, immediately after 800m race, like he had been shopping, not running, gave as educated, informative and communicative interview to BBC as if he had just in strolled from Cambridge University. Phew! Lord Coe and Rudisha are great friends. The Peer even invited the Kenyan to view the new park in February last, to look at his pending kingdom. Coe himself was ‘golden’ at 1500m in both Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984, with silvers in 800m too at both, so Rudisha is in brilliant, exalted company. So, if we were proud of James, Santos and Gordon, what the fast muscles of Usain Bolt, Johan Blake and, “Find of Olympics”, Warren Weir - that 200m ‘Jamaican Sweep’ - gave us, was everlasting euphoria, reminding greatly of the film ‘Cool Runnings!’ “Where you come from?” All shout: “Jamaica! Rahtid!” We all know of Bolt and even Blake, expecting nothing less, even though, for maybe once, Bolt was actually slightly worried about his legendary status, but, where the hell did Weir come from, other than, of course, Jamaica? Built the way he is only 22. 
Expect him to feature in 400m too, not long from now! Hey! USA’s medal count is good, not great, given that they have over 300 million people. Most impressive, athletically, was women’s 4x100m relay. Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter sizzled in many more ways than just winning that race! Whoa; talk about being hot! USA’s new world record destroyed (East) Germany’s—Silke Gladisch, Sabine Reiger, Ingrid Auerswald and Marlies Gohr—1985 World Record; 41.37s; running that convoluted 400m in just 40.82s, first team below 41 seconds, and, so far, no PED’s mentioned—Performance Enhancing Drugs! What a thing! I was actually quite fortunate to have both men’s and women’s road cycling races go pass my hotel’s window, and I know, from experiences on my own bike, that riding with anyone, much less 100 riders next to you, is nearly impossible; it could really kill you. This they did, at 35 – 50 miles per hour! Jeez! “Wiggo” is another real legend, perhaps the biggest one of the last month, and that includes both XXX Olympiad and 2012 Tour de France. There are very few words, I think, that could describe Bradley Wiggins, but stupendous, unbelievable, out-of-this- worldly, all come somewhere close to him! Wow! This guy rode a race for 12 days, or was that one race per day each, for 12 days, in the last Tour de France, going over hills, mountains, climbs and flats on a cycle, as we simply walk the streets. Then, after receiving the winning accolade in Paris, he jumped on an airplane to the UK, for London 2012. “Wiggo” is almost inhuman, like USA’s swimming genius, almost fish, Michael Phelps. For them, and Usain Bolt, that singular status of “Legend” is all that we have. They are easily greater than that! Enjoy!


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