Despite facing a brash rival in Usain Bolt who loves to dance, talk big and dominate the spotlight, Walter Dix has never bought into talking a big game and putting his personality out there.
Instead, he has taken the low-profile route, preferring for his performances to do the talking.
In a typical exchange, asked by an OC Register reporter if his 9.85-second 100 meter at Mt. Sac on April 21 sent a message to his Jamaican rivals, Dix responded, "That's for you guys to write."
The photo above, in fact, surprises me, as it's rare to see Dix smile and goof around. His race demeanor mirrors this as he wears sunglasses and is all-business on the track with no hysterics or playing up for the crowd.
Dix had this to say to the AP about Bolt and the spotlight he seems to eschew:
"Before 2008, nobody had the perception that he (Bolt) was a clown," Dix said. "But when you're in the spotlight, people get to know you."
Dix paused and chuckled.
"I'm not saying I'm going to start dancing, though," he said.
He continued on to explain in typical fashion what his solution to the lack of buzz around him will be:
"I'm not in the bright lights like Gay and Bolt," Dix said. "I don't get to be funny or be on SportsCenter.
"But it doesn't bother me because, like my dad always says, running fast solves everything."
With Dix, we can hope that as his race performances improve and the world gets to see more of him, he begins to break out of his shell and engage in some of the rivalry with the Jamaicans on and off the track.
At the moment, he is probably taking the right course in not needlessly creating distractions or lighting a fire under his fellow competitors.