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Why Usain Bolt can be called a living legend

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On Thursday 9th August Usain bolt made history (again) as he defended his 200m Olympic title at London 2012. The victory, which saw him beat teammate and rival Yohan Blake , also Jamaican, means Bolt is the first man to win the 200m sprint double twice in succession.

Bolt, in his usual commandeering style said after winning the race: “It’s what I came here to do,” followed by “I’m now a legend. I’m also the greatest athlete to live.”

His riveting performance on the track was matched by an equally entertaining display in his press conference and victory lap making it my favourite event of the Olympics, if only for the sheer entertainment value.

Never mind the race, the victory lap saw Bolt perform push ups on the line, his signature move and being draped by his country’s flag.  It also saw him dabble in photography as he captured Blake and Weir on camera and milk the audience for even more applause, though I’m pretty sure he didn’t have to.

He finished his press conference by telling the assembled journalists "one more thing..."I am now a living legend. Bask in my glory," before promptly leaving the room.

Now, you would be mistaken if you called Bolt humble, for humble he is not. But his cockiness is surprisingly inoffensive. The guy is charismatic, he emanates confidence, he’s against the grain, funny, charming and knows how to works a crowd. He’s not only an athletic star, but a star of the track too.  He is legendry not only because of his running skill. The humble nature of other athletes seem to pale into oblivion and unimportance in front of Bolt. The man has style, and he’s proud of it.

But why shouldn’t he be? He has earned his right to be and he must have been feeling the pressure before embarking on 200m event, but his victory ensured his place in history and also validated his efforts and hard work which entitle him to hold pride in his actions.

Too often gold medallists seem to be at a loss at their victories. If they’re not being suspected for drug usuage, they seem to think they are undeserving of the medals and the honours that come with them.

I don’t know about you, but I find this a bit annoying.  After all, this is what they have aimed at their whole careers. They have sacrificed and worked and trained. Shouldn’t there be a level of pride there when they cross that finish line first? A sense of achievement and self-assurance should surely accompany a winning athlete, if only for confirmation that they haven’t been wasting their time.

I’m not exactly saying that other athletes are false and displaying a humbleness that isn’t entirely true, because if sure they are humbled by the sheer magnitude of their win, but on the other hand, I do feel like athletes feel like they aren’t allowed to be too proud because of the press, the media and the pressure it creates for them to defend the title next time. If they say they don’t know how they got there, that they never imagined they could win, or words to that affect,  I think it makes them appear more endearing, more of a surprise, less of a threat and stops us piling on the pressure for next time. Well, maybe.

I find Bolt’s pride refreshing, it isn’t only pride for his country, but pride in himself. That, I feel, is just as important for an athlete. That is why I think he is entitled to the label legend. He is a true role model in self pride to come out of London 2012

His statement says it all: "For me it was hard. I'm really dedicated to my work and gave it my best. I'm proud of myself. For me I'm happy."

Usain Bolt, living legend.




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