Friday, August 10, 2012

Usain Bolt

"Avoiding Olympic Spoilers Is a Sport of Its Own," says ABC News (AP), ironic, since it is through watching their newscast that I have been told of winning results in advance of NBC's primetime coverage. All the same, it's been an exciting Olympiad, and some of the most impressive moments have come from Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt - the fastest man in the world. On August 5, 2012, you may have seen him win a gold medal in the 100m dash with an Olympic Record time of 9.63 seconds. Then last night, Aug. 9th, he won a 2nd gold medal in the 200m dash at a time of 19.32 seconds. In 2 days, he will run his leg of the 4x100m relay. If he can lead the Jamaican team to victory, he'll be 3 for 3 like he was at the Summer Olympics in Beijing 4 years ago. At a height of 1.96m (6' 5"), the 25-year-old is taller than his competitors, but able to outpace them, taking fewer strides. In the 100m for instance, Bolt took 41 steps to the finish line, compared to 46 by silver medalist Yohan Blake and 42 1/2 by Bronze medalist Justin Gatlin. This allowed him to fly down the track at an incredible 34 feet per second or 23 miles per hour. To see how the winning athletes in the sport have changed over the years, take a look at this NBC News infographic. To see an even more interesting animated graphic that pits Usain Bolt against the Olympic sprinters of the last 116 years, see the New York Times.
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