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Usain Bolt: Why the Jamaican Sprinter Is the Most Entertaining Athlete in London

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica looks on after competing in the Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2012

There is something inherently entertaining about speed. We love fast cars and roller coasters. We have races of all varieties—from race walking to competitions measuring how fast we can text.

So there is something inherently entertaining about Usain Bolt, who is, at least according to the record books, the fastest human being who has ever lived.

He holds the world records in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints. He's won consecutive 100-meter gold medals, and he'll look to become the first man in history to win both the 100 and 200 in consecutive Olympics on Thursday.

And through it all, he's been the consummate entertainer.

There's his DJ routine he does before a race, or his infamous, celebratory pose after he wins. There's the fact that he's so fast, he's basically given up on trying to nail his start and just focuses on blowing past people down the stretch.

Seriously. He said as much, as Phil Sheridan of The Philadelphia Inquirer found out:

"After the trials, my coach told me not to worry about my starts anymore," Bolt said. "Just focus on the last 50 meters."

It was easy enough four years ago, when he cruised the last 10 meters. And maybe that's what makes Bolt all the more intriguing—he's just so damn fast naturally. 

For example, how many Olympic athletes do you think ate McDonald's on the morning of a competition? Because Bolt did (via Gordon Rayner of The Telegraph):

At a post-race press conference, Bolt, 25, was asked about his diet on the day of the big race.

He said: “I had some plantains, some hash browns, fruit, then a wrap from McDonald’s. For lunch I had rice and pork and some apple juice.”

He also said he had “had a few nuggets” from McDonald’s during his stay in the Olympic village, single-handedly giving the fast-food chain its greatest ever public relations puff.

Breakfast of champions? Apparently.

But Bolt just seems to love having fun. He's even jockeying for a place on English Premier League side Manchester United. It would seem the world's fastest man fancies his chances on the pitch, too (via Kevin Armstrong of the New York Daily News):

“People think I am joking when I say that I would like to play for Manchester United,” British media quoted Bolt as saying on Tuesday. “But if Alex Ferguson called me up and said, ‘OK, let’s do this, come and have a trial and see if you are good enough’ it would be impossible for me to say ‘no’.

Why not?

When you are as fast as Bolt, I guess you have plenty of time to enjoy yourself. Remember that classic SportsCenter commercial?

Wouldn't you kill for that schedule, too?

Obviously, it's not all fun and games for Bolt. He had to bunker down this year and ensure he would repeat as Olympic champion. And the 200 run won't be easy—he still has to deal with fellow countryman Yohan Blake.

But I wouldn't bet against Bolt. The man with the perfect last name for a sprinter is just too fast to finish second to anyone in these Olympics. And I'm sure the consummate showman will have a nice little routine for us before, and after, the race.

What else would you expect from the most entertaining man at the 2012 London Games?


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets don't walk, jog, run or sprint, they Bolt.

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