the bolt 2
August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
There’s a spoof clip on YouTube — “Usain Bolt celebrates early… very early” — that captures it brilliantly. He is being interviewed after the Olympic final, reviewing the race…
Spoof interviewer: “In-cred-ible! World record time, gold medal, you made it look easy. Usain, walk us through the replay.”
Spoof Bolt: “Yay mon. That’s the Chinese guy in the starting position, that’s the white guy in his starting position, that’s me in my starting pose, then I hear the gun. And this is where I realised I was going to win the race.” Cue Bolt high-fiving with another Jamaican in the adjoining lane.
Spoof interviewer: “But didn’t you just leave the starting blocks?”
Spoof Bolt: “That’s right. I got embarrassingly far ahead right here so I decided to back track a bit.” Cue Bolt running backwards.
“I remember this,” Bolt smiles as I show him the clip on my laptop. “The first time I saw it I was like, ‘Oh my God! Are you serious? It was funny, though. It’s kinda good.” Did it make him laugh or cry? “It was funny, it was good. Crazy people. They put the craziest things on YouTube,” he laughs. It captured his spirit pretty well — the funny, relaxed guy who makes it look easy. Is it really that easy? “Well, the running part is easy for me. If I train hard and I work hard, then the running part for me is the easier part because all I have to do now is go there and execute what I have learnt over the past couple of months from my coach… Outside of the running part, I go to the gym, I do work-outs, track work. I’ve got to do so many different things to make that, the running part, look easy.”
And that’s hard? “That’s the hard part. That’s when everything goes downhill.” Has that been difficult since Beijing? The constant demands on his time? “No. It’s part of the thing. Before everything came about, my coach sat down and talked to me. He said, ‘Listen. If you really blow up [run well], this is what is going to happen. There is going to be a lot of pressure, people are going to always want a piece of you. After I dominated in Beijing, he said it again. And he kept saying it.”
Because that’s the price of fame? “Yeah, pretty much.” And he doesn’t mind paying it? “No, I don’t,” he laughs. A gentle mist caresses the hills above Kingston. It is 6.15am at the University of the West Indies and three television crews and a handful of journalists and photographers have come to Bolt’s training ground. The morning is warm and gloriously tranquil, but the silence is soon broken by the roar of a black BMW, speeding down the Old Hope Road from the fashionable suburb of Norbrook.
The security guard recognises the driver immediately and there’s a flurry of panic as he pulls back the gate and the cameras race for position. Bolt steers the car across the gravel and greets the reporters with a smile: “Hi everybody.” He’s wearing bright-yellow kit with big Puma labels and is so enamoured by the buzz as he steps from the car that he leaves the door open and the engine running.