Here is the measure of Usain Bolt’s brilliance. He eased up because he felt tightness in his back as he rounded the corner in the men’s 200 meters Thursday at Olympic Stadium and, in his words, “cruised” to the finish line, a winner nonetheless in 19.32 seconds.
That time, 19.32, is the Michael Johnson gold-shoes race from Atlanta in 1996. When we all thought that was untouchable.
That was before Bolt came along. He has re-defined everything.
Bolt, so far ahead at the line that he could not only slow over the last 20 meters but put his left index finger to his lips to tell any and all critics to hush, won the 200 to fulfill the mission he had set out for himself here in London, to become a “legend.”
As soon as he crossed the line, he did five push-ups, one for each of his Olympic medals. The 4×100 relay is coming up this weekend, and the opportunity for a sixth.
He said afterward, “I’m now a legend. I’m also the greatest athlete to live.”
CONTINUED at NBC Olympics. Video at link.