When Gods Descend: Usain Bolt Races to Olympus and Beyond

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When Gods Descend: Usain Bolt Races to Olympus and Beyond
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Once long ago, when the need was just, the Greek God Hermes loaned his winged sandals to Perseus so he could slay the wicked Medusa.

This was not the only time the messenger of the Gods meddled in human affairs, and because of his deserved reputation as a trickster, his motives were never entirely certain.

But whether for good or evil, there is little doubt that the wing-footed son of Zeus is once again dabbling with history.

How do I know?

Because Usain Bolt is wearing those damn sandals, and it may well be that track and field will never be the same. 

I believe the above photo is all the evidence I need, as it's clear that he's running, but he's certainly not touching the ground.

Beyond this there is a building epic, trumpeting the heroic ascent of a speedster from Jamaica, detailing his virtuoso performance in Beijing, and his recent assault upon the Gods themselves at the World Championships in Berlin.

Usain Bolt demolished his own world records in both the 100-meter and the 200-meter sprints, posting otherworldly times of 9.58 and 19.19, respectively, clipping .11 seconds off his own marks.

In the 200-meter, second-place finisher Alonso Edward finished in a time of 19.81, which places Bolt a long way from the rest of the world he seems to effortlessly rise above.

If this was basketball, and say Kobe Bryant just scored a ton of points against the Knicks, we'd get a cacophony of boisterous arguments that he was the best player in the world.  Some might say he was the best ever.

This would last until LeBron James embarrassed the Knicks in equal fashion a couple days later, flashing his versatility in potent contrast to Kobe's firepower.

The argument now explodes into a tidal wave of innuendo, opinion, and fantasy.

But in the sport of Gods, the sprints, older than civilization itself, it is with unequivocal certainty that we can state that Bolt is the fastest man ever to grace the face of the planet.

From infancy, we begin to race. Against our peers on the playgrounds, in gym class, down the street, or around the house in a game of bloody murder.

The fastest of us continue to race until we find someone faster, who finds someone faster, who finds someone faster, until you arrive at the World Championships facing the fastest men alive.

It has been this way throughout history.

And though we live in a time that has spawned larger, stronger, faster athletes than ever before, one has now emerged that seems poised to run all the way to Mount Olympus, and perhaps beyond.

Bolt is still young by sprinting standards. At 23, he has a lot of time to push his times impossibly low, challenging a generation of athletes the way that Bob Beamon did with his epic leap in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

Yes, the old trickster Hermes is meddling in world matters once again, and though one can't be sure what Herculean task he has in mind for Usain Bolt, the scale can only be described as heavenly.

Champions win.

Losers fade.

And when Gods descend,

heroes are made.

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