Thursday, August 20, 2009

Check out Usain Bolt the high schooler

No more drugs talk, please! I don't blame people for having their faith in great athletes eroded by all the scandals we have had in sports. But remember there's not a shred of evidence (or even what we call "reliable rumors") associating sprint great Usain Bolt with drugs.

And I'd be surprised if there ever is. Here's why. When an athlete goes on drugs, one outward sign is a bump in performance that is not otherwise explainable. That is, an athlete suddenly jumps up to a new level.

Bolt, however, is a freak of nature. He has always been ungodly fast. Let me show you what I mean by sharing his times when he would have been in high school (had he gone to school in Michigan). Keep in mind, we have a state where a kid who can break 22-seconds in the 200 is considered a stud. And remember. All Bolt's times are FAT timed, wind-measured and legal.

Usain Bolt as a 15-year-old ninth grader:
Doesn't run 100. But runs 20.58 for 200. A world youth record. Wins gold at the World Junior Championships (the same one where Mumford's Kenneth Ferguson won silver in the 400 hurdles by breaking the national high school record). Bolt also clocks 47.12 for 400.

Bolt as a 16-year-old tenth grader:
No 100m. Sets world junior record of 20.13 in 200, winning Pan-Am Games gold medal against adults. Also clocks 45.35 in the 400!

Bolt as a 17-year-old eleventh grader:

Runs 19.93 world junior record in 200m in his third race of the year in April. Then he is badly injured. Can't race again until Olympics, where he limps through a 21.05 heat.

Bolt as an 18-year-old senior:
No 100m still. 19.99 in the 200m. Places last in the World Championships, injured. No 400m time.

By all reports, not until his senior year was he even training seriously, and even he admits he had a problem with being lazy. Times of 20.13 and 45.35 at age 15?? Truly this is an athlete we have never seen the likes of on earth before. Stop the doubting and just enjoy watching him.

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