The Weight of History

If Usain Bolt (9.58 seconds) or Andre De Grasse (9.91 seconds) ran the 100m at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, how would they’ve fared against the legendary Jesse Owens (10.3 seconds)? Too bad we’ll never know.

Well, as Marty McFly would say, “This is heavy, Doc.”

The time traveling dash took place shortly prior to this year’s Olympics.

The natural inclination for sports commentators and analysts is to hype current athletes and achievements with superlatives. At times, the compliments fly at a slightly exaggerated rate. How quickly we forget the results of the past…or even just the last year. Still, there are athletic performances (individual and team) that warrant lightning-in-a-bottle fanfare. But it’s important to introduce perspective whenever possible. The fact is that Usain Bolt is a sprinter we may never see again in our lifetime. If you were to design the perfect sprinter, that final concept would look a hell of a lot like the 6’5″ Jamaican.

Witnessing Usain Bolt sprint today is the closest feat of running dominance and wow factor fans can experience that compares to the “Buckeye Bullet” people saw take flight 80 years ago.

Mr. Bolt’s achievements are undeniably laudable. However, as the phrase, “The greatest of all-time” is being cemented with his legacy, the video above shouldn’t necessarily deny that illustrious label. Instead, the struggle and significantly slower time produced by the 2016 Olympic 100m bronze medalist Andre De Grasse (9.91 seconds) should provide historical perspective and weight to the conditions, resources and technological advances made between 1936 Germany and 2016 Rio.

Usain Bolt is a once-in-a-lifetime sprinting legend and one of the fastest runners ever.

That’s an accurate statement at any point in track & field history.

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Posted on August 18, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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