It took less than a second for Usain Bolt to go from gold medal champion and world record-holder to world-class jerk.
Actually, the word class shouldn’t be used in the same sentence as Saturday’s winner of the 100 meters. Bolt certainly displayed none in becoming “The World’s Fastest Man” Saturday night.
Bolt, from Jamaica, handled the field so badly that he had time to look around, gesture to the crowd, pound his chest and showboat for the last 20 meters of the race, all while setting a world record with a time of 9.69 seconds.
Imagine what he could have done had he not taken the time to show up his fellow competitors?
Imagine Michael Phelps doggy-paddeling the last 30 meters of a race in which he has a big lead.
Imagine LeBron James invoking Harlem Globetrotter moves with a 30-point lead.
That’s what the lanky Jamaican did; he disrespected the rest of the field with his showboating in a display of arrogance that showed anything but the integrity of a champion.
The men around him were the best in the world in the event, including two of Bolt’s countrymen.
And Bolt showed them no respect by taunting them.
That’s not the way a champion should behave.
Other quick Olympic thoughts:
* Now that the Michael Phelps show is over, the debate begins: is Phelps the greatest Olympian of all time? My opinion: Phelps is obviously the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time, but the debate gets sticky when you start comparing athletes from different sports.
* Water polo looks like one of the most underrated sports in terms of difficulty. After watching Team USA’s match against Croatia, I have new respect for the water polo players.
* A North Korean air pistol tested positive for propranolol, a drug that slows down the heart rate, and was stripped of the gold medal. When I first heard a pistol shooter tested positive for a performance enhancing drug, I could only shake my head. Is nothing sacred?
Joel Willits is the sports reporter for the Bellevue Reporter. He can be reached at 425-453-4270 ext. 5060 or at email@example.com.