Usain Bolt has been the most dominant sprinter in the world for the last five years. His 100-meter dash world record-breaking performance in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing put him on the map and breaking Michael Johnson’s record in the 200 make Bolt an instant star. He can permanently put his name in the book of great sprinters if he can repeat what he did in Beijing, but his fellow country man Johan Blake may have something to say about that.
Winning back-to-back gold medals in the 100 and 200 at the Olympic Games is something that is near impossible to do. If Bolt is able to pull that off he will go down as the greatest sprinter ever considering no one has ever done it. Carl Lewis came close winning gold in both the 100m and 200m at the Los Angeles Olympic games, but in Seoul he won gold in the 100m and won silver in the 200m.
The problem for Bolt is not just the fact that the feat itself is difficult in the short time sprinters are dominant, but he has teammate Yohan Blake nipping at his heals. Blake already defeated Bolt in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Olympic trials, and Bolt says he was injured but if you watch the videos it looked like he was beaten by the faster man.
His performance at these games is important because sprinters records are broken all of the time, and although Bolt significantly lowered the bar for the 100m and 200m world record they won’t stand for more than 10 years. Sprinters are getting stronger, faster, and bigger and when those records are broken what will be left for people to remember Bolt? One great Olympics, there are many athletes who can make that claim. If he comes through holding off Blake and possibly breaking world records in the process he may just cement his legacy for the rest of his life.