A Prodigy

prod·i·gy (noun). 1. A person with exceptional talents or powers. 2. An act or event so extraordinary or rare as to inspire wonder.

Usain Bolt is a sprinting prodigy. I had never really heard of him before the 2008 Olympics, but then I sat back in amazement with everyone else as he blew away the field in the 100m and broke what was thought to be an unbreakable record in the 200m as well.

This week at the World Championships in Berlin, Bolt once again won the 100m and 200m, and shattered his own world records in the process: a 9.58 in the 100m, and a 19.19 in the 200m. These times are so extraordinary that they absolutely inspire wonder.

To me, what’s even more impressive than the numbers Bolt is putting up is the distance between himself and his competitors. He’s not racing against a local high school track team or a bunch of fairly-athletic guys. He’s competing against the very fastest men in the world—athletes who spend all of their time honing their craft and trying to shave hundredths of seconds off their times.

And it’s these men that he’s blowing away in competition, in the case of the 200m, by more than half a second.

That’s a prodigy.


Anonymous 9/17/09, 4:31 PM  

I just hope he is not cheating. I really do not think he is; if so, he would have been caught by now. Track & Field tend not to play with this like MLB does.

Luke Dockery 9/24/09, 4:27 PM  


He's so fast that it seems like he must be, but as you pointed out, the Track & Field world does a much better job with this than MLB does. At this point, I'm a believer.

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