What more did Usain Bolt have to prove?
The fleet-footed Jamaican sprinter had already claimed gold medals in the 100-meter dash at the prior two Summer Olympics, but was competitively compelled to return to the IAAF World Championships in Moscow on Sunday.
As many might have forecast—despite the heavy rain that poured onto the track—Bolt breezed to another gold with a time of 9.77 seconds, well ahead of his closest competition in Justin Gatlin (9.85).
Bolt dismissed any notion that he might rest on his past accolades or that he was not in as good of shape as years past, when he blew the planet away with his record-setting bursts of unprecedented speed. There is clearly a part of Bolt that is driven to continue furthering his legacy—the heart of a true champion.
It takes uncommon composure to handle the big stage and perform at one's peak, and Bolt has consistently managed to do that as his career has worn on.
One exception, though, was at this very meet two years ago. Bolt is known for getting off to relatively slow starts out of the blocks, then exploding past the competition to the finish line. Instead of settling for that in 2011's event in South Korea, he tried to improve that facet of his craft.
Unfortunately, Bolt burst out a bit too quickly, was disqualified with a false start and lost his title as the fastest man in the world at the time.
That was remedied when Bolt characteristically struggled at the outset and trailed Gatlin in the early going. As we've come to expect from Bolt, though, he made his move and blew past his American competitor with roughly 30 meters left.
What makes Bolt's competitive fire refreshing, too, is on display in the fun he has. When he was announced to the crowd, Bolt pretended to put up an umbrella to combat the rain that intensified leading up to the starting gun.
The flash and showmanship Bolt has become known for wasn't as prominent when he did win, but when lightning struck shortly after his triumph, it was as if Mother Nature had acted on his behalf:
Doping has plagued some of Bolt's counterparts, including Tyson Gay and compatriots Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, who didn't participate in the world championships.
In the midst of these unfortunate transgressions, all indications are that Bolt is running clean. That makes his perpetual stay at the top—and return to victory at the IAAF World Championships—all the more impressive and admirable.
Appropriately in this context, the dreaded lightning of a false start didn't strike twice.