Add another eyebrow-raising remark to Usain Bolt's growing count at these 2012 London Olympic Games.
"I'm going to say something controversial. Carl Lewis – I have no respect for him," Bolt said. "The things he says about the track athletes are very downgrading. I think he's just looking for attention because nobody really talks about him. I've lost all respect for him. All respect."
Bolt later indicated that his negativity toward Lewis was tied to remarks Lewis made to The Telegraph just after the 2008 Beijing Games. Here's part of what Lewis had to say a little less than four years ago.
"When people ask me about Bolt, I say he could be the greatest athlete of all time," Lewis said. "But for someone to run 10.03 one year and 9.69 the next, if you don't question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you're a fool. Period."
Well, apparently strong words between today's athletes and yesterday's greats isn't exclusive to basketball (see: Dream Team debate).
Lewis has publicly been skeptical of Jamaica's success in the sport, and the events that transpired Day 13 of these Games couldn't have done much to quell his suspicion. The green, yellow and red clad sprinters swept the podium in the men's 200-meter final, as Yohan Blake took silver and Warren Weir grabbed the bronze medal behind Bolt's gold.
It's unfortunate to see two of the sport's greatest forces have such animosity between them, but it's far from unwarranted in Bolt's case.
While many fans would rather have waited until the end of the 2012 Games to hear such strong remarks from the Jamaican champion, his silence on the subject arguably would have spoken louder than his comments did. Doping has become such a sore subject in the Olympics that it's become necessary to stand up for yourself when put into question.
Perhaps it's acceptable for the nine-time Olympic gold medalist to be doubtful of Bolt's accomplishments, and perhaps it's also acceptable for Bolt to take such exception to the situation Lewis has forced him into. But regardless, again, you hate to see two of the best sprinters ever have such negative things to say about each other.
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