- Bunce on Olympics
Getting close to the finish line!Steve Bunce August 10, 2012
I was there for the double double, the night Usain Bolt upgraded from Great to Greatest or possibly from Legend to King of Legends and won the 200 metres.
There was no doubt in his mind as he eased down over the last ten, having pushed his body for the previous 190m harder than at any point in his five-year cycle of annihilation. Make no mistake - I was there, as I said -Yohan Blake was on his back, shoulder and spikes for a few fabulous seconds; it was just a brief blip and then it went.
Inside the stadium, which is increasingly starting to resemble something from a movie, the air was suddenly sucked out of everybody and silence fell. It is eerie, to tell the truth and the then the bang goes. The view from my position, which was about 20 rows back from the finish line, was perfect and as the Jamaican trio -now officially the best band of Jamaican brothers since Bob Marley and the Wailers - flowed out of the bend they were racing against a backdrop of a zillion flashbulbs. It is, at that point in a Bolt race, that gravity works in reverse and your bum floats up from the seat with an unusual lightness. A second later your arms are pumping the air. It's the Bolt, you see.
Warren Weir took bronze, Blake the silver and Bolt his gold. They are all part of the same running club in Jamaica: Racers Track Club. I know from friends that have seen the trio run, warm-up, sprint and warm down that at the same time skinny little 11-year-old kids are hurtling round bends. Bolt, Weir and Blake were skinny kids too, chasing a distant dream round the same bends. It seems that the Jamaican sprinters, who are fast becoming the Great Olympic Team, try and lead a normal life when they are home. Jamaicans are wary of 'bigging up' anybody, or anybody that 'big ups' themselves. Humility has to be exercised by even the greatest. There is always a grandma somewhere to clip your ego!
"It's easier in Jamaica for me to go out, for Usain to go out. That's just the way it is," explained Lennox Lewis, who was born less than a mile from the stadium, won a gold for Canada and now lives most of his year in Jamaica. "Yeah man, I can shop and somebody will just nod - in London I get mobbed."
I was there for the double double and that is an Olympic memory I will never lose.
By the way, how can Canada and Sweden only have one gold at this stage in the Games and Portugal, Mexico and Finland not have a single one?