It is, without a doubt, the fastest 10 seconds in sports.
So fast it only lasts 9.63.
(By the way: In case you were wondering, the slowest 10 seconds in sports is the final 10 seconds of any NBA game.)
Yohan Blake, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell. Every four years we are introduced (or reintroduced) to the human beings on the planet that can come closest to the sound barrier.
Sometimes, when there’s a real superstar; a freak of nature so superior that you’d give him 5-1 odds against a cheetah … the world already knows his name.
First there was Jesse Owens. Then there was Carl Lewis. Now there is Usain Bolt.
The fastest man on Earth for the last four years (at least).
Now, technically, that’s not true. For the past year or two, Blake has been besting Bolt, beating him in both the 100m and 200m. But … to put it bluntly, as far as 95 percent of Americans are concerned, these guys haven’t run since Beijing. Americans don’t have the attention span or the bandwidth to follow track non-stop. Who would keep up with the Kardashians?
We can only pay attention when the media tells us to, and the media tell us to pay attention whenever the five interlocking rings appear.
And in those races, in the bolts down the track when the world is watching, it’s been all Usain.
First, Bolt stunned the world in Beijing, showboating across the line 40 yards ahead of his closest competitor (that’s how I remember it). And then Sunday in London, he followed that up by beating his own Olympic record and leaving no doubt who is the fastest man alive.
Usain St. Leo Bolt. A man with such a big personality, Americans don’t even mind losing to him over and over again.
Watching the man run in person is jaw-dropping. Watching up-close as all these men run is awing. They move so fast that you question whether they’re made from the same stuff you are.
It’s a spectacle like nothing else. It’s one of those events you have to see live at least once in your life. From the Hollywood-type introductions, to the insistent “SHHHHHH” of the crowd just before the start, to the gun.
And like that, it’s over.
Man should not be capable of covering that much distance in that short of a time. You need to see it with your own eyes in person to truly believe it. And we all flock to do just that.
You should have seen the crowd at this thing. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and the rest of USA basketball, Liev Shreiber, Gareth Bale … and that was just who I happened to actually physically bump into.
I didn’t see Beckham, the Spice Girls, Jude Law and House, but I’m sure they were all there. Where else would they be?
It’s the marquee event of the Olympics. The 100m dash.
As The Highlander series repeatedly reminded us, there can be only one.
Every four years, in their own version of the quickening, the men brash enough to believe they’re the one gather to race.
Every four years, the International Olympic Committee deems one tiny sliver of track holy enough to host this battle of the gods.
And every four years, the rest of us gather together — live and in front of our TV sets — just to catch a 10-second glimpse at their run for immortality.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.