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Finish Strong???

I gotta post this. Last night I watched the mens 100m race and got a bit put off by the display during and after the race. If you watched it you probably know what I mean. I’ve tried to give the benefit of the doubt for this being an incredible moment in ones athletic career, but in my opinion it was a classless display of ego. The funniest part to me is that Usain “Lightning” Bolt could have made the world record time he recorded even better if he just would have finished strong. He chose to showboat and pump his chest.

I get the excitement. I understand the crowning achievement, but 15 minutes earlier we watched a humble Michael Phelps win his record 8th Olympic gold and there was no showboating. There was no running around the pool and self promotion. Phelps went so far as to differ the credit to the other 3 guys on his relay team (as well he should).

My frustration went beyond Usain Bolt, the guy that came in second and won the silver was almost WORSE in his celebration. Rolling around, hitting his chest, acting like he won Gold. I couldn’t help but think…”Dude, you came in 2nd“. At least the 3rd place runner from the US held his celebration in check. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with celebration. My problem is when it turns into self promotion and shows up the other athletes that worked so hard to get there.

He should have just finished strong.

Originally posted @ “Dirt On It


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Comments · 8

  • experienceaurie · August 17, 2008

    i totally disagree with you about Usain Bolt. If you knew where he was coming from and how long he’s been doing this, even at his young age, you may have chosen your words a little bit better here. He was not showing up other athletes in his celebration. Also, the self promotion that you want to complain about is the ticket to him rebuilding and creating opportunities for the countless kids where he grew up that won’t have the ability to pay for the things that his hard work will pave the way for in the future. You need to look at the full picture of the man instead of judging him.

    Also, the guy from Trinidad deserved to certainly celebrate the way he did because he did what was totally unexpected by many.

    Americans are so satisfied all the time that you forget what hunger is truly all about. When you have all the tools, finances, and expectations to do great in the Olympics, other countries don’t have the same means. When those expectations are exceeded, we can’t help our exuberance, which is sometimes envied by other countries.

    The bottom line is that he is the best and you don’t like it.

  • Aaron · August 17, 2008

    Thank you for your comments. While I respect and even agree with a few of your points I think you missed a few of mine. First off, this wasn’t an anti-other country bashing, I was merely stating my opinion on what I felt was over promotion. I didn’t understand how taking ones shoes off and posing by the world record number does any of the things you mentioned. Beating ones chest doesn’t either.

    I also don’t see how posing with the lightning bolt pose brings glory to a nation. Matter of fact the United States did that in track and field a few years ago and were highly criticized. They were most highly criticized in the United States for their actions. The same with the United States Basketball team. Their behavior was unacceptable and they heard about it. Thus the reason the team in the 2008 games is called the “Redeem Team”. They have been asked to restore pride after the unsportsmanlike display of a few years ago.

    My only other complaint goes back to my original point. You bring honor and respect to your country by your actions. Finishing the race strong and humbly celebrating your victory brings far greater respect than what I saw.To your point about the man that came in second, Walter Dix was from the United States was never expected to bring home the Bronze. Yet none of the footage that I saw (in fairness, they only showed him for a quick minute) never showed the celebration that the other two athletes had. Again, this is not about the United States versus the rest of the world, I would be saying the same thing if it was a United States athlete that celebrated that way. I used to feel the same way about Barry Bonds when he would stand and admire a homerun he hit out of the park. Drop your bat, run the bases. No need to showboat.

    Again, I say this isn’t about a particular athlete, their circumstances or their country. My post and my opinion comes from a view of the celebration. However it’s only my opinion and the beauty is that we can both have one. Thanks again for your comment.

  • experienceaurie · August 18, 2008

    Well you points about the cosmetic aspect of what Bolt has done in terms of celebration quite frankly doesn’t deserve the amount of negativity that you are suggesting. I did understand the point that you were making about celebrations. However, I find it hard to believe that this is really something to be totally concerned about when the most important issue facing athletes in the world today is the use and abuse of illegal substances.

    I’m glad that Usain upstaged the entire world because far too many people want us to apologize for our success. It doesn’t happen often and who knows if it can ever happen again. I think you were just best suited in this case to just tip your hat, like we’ve done for years and years and try again in four years.

  • AAron · August 18, 2008

    Okay….we’re obviously not debating the same points. With that I will tip my cap and say congratulations to Jamaica and Usain Bolt. That was never the point, but they deserve the honor for the achievement. Hat tipped….moving on.

  • experienceaurie · August 18, 2008

    No problem…I just want to put this out there though. Be careful of NBC’s coverage, if that’s your source for coverage. It’s not always the most balanced perspective that you can find out there. I learned that the hard way myself. Thanks for the spirited conversation.

  • AAron · August 18, 2008

    Spirited indeed. That’s the beauty of sports. We can both have a side and yet agree to disagree at the end. Good stuff. Agreed on the coverage from NBC as well. I have a hard time with the over commercialization of Michael Phelps, but that is a whole different post for another day. He has had an incredible Olympics, but they were literally selling a commemorative DVD minutes after he won the 8th Gold metal. Again…different post, different day. Thanks again and I wish Jamaica continued success in these and all Olympic games.

  • sofismando · August 18, 2008

    I do agree in one point: Americans (and Europeans too) are treated differently than third-world-country-borns when it’s time to celebrate a sports achievement. They are from different contexts, different sacrifices, even different perspectives in life, and that builds up to different expectations of sportsmanship and composure.

    Having said that… there is a difference between celebration and megalomania… :-)

  • experienceaurie · August 21, 2008

    I wrote a post with an additional comment and linked it to your page for more viewers to stop by.

    One man’s celebration is another man’s megalomania.

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