July 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
It must have been the hot gear.
In sports, uniforms and shoes make the man, right? The times and performances may be tough to compare from different eras because the track surfaces and training sciences continually improve over the years. There is constant in sports and track for that matter: the gear.
We know what you are thinking, how did the athlete look performing the time?
Of course, at the U.S. Olympic Trials earlier this month, Tyson Gay ran in throw back uniforms. During the 100-meter rounds, Gay introduced a white uniform with red and blue stripes in a tribute to 1936 Olympic star Jesse Owens. He successfully executed a wardrobe change–for the finals he rocked a royal blue body suit with red and white diagonal stripes across the front.
The photo to the left is of Jesse Owens wearing the original uniform at the 1936 Olympic Games, where he won four gold medals in the 100, 200, long jump, and 4×100 relay team while defeating Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Tyson’s gear certainly appealed to historically-minded fans. The 2007 World Champion at 100 and 200-meters, also sported a custom designed spike that were also inspired by Jesse Owens called “The Trinity.” The spike is named for Tyson’s daughter and it has another synergy as Gay is known for his strong religious beliefs.
It includes an X on the heel, reflecting the adidas Olympic heritage and the name Trinity embossed in gold on the side of the shoe.
“Winning is a great feeling. When you do win you can sit back and look at hard practices you went through and really appreciate the victory,” Gay said. “I wear the Trinity shoe out of respect for Jesse Owens. It’s like a new school and an old school put together. It’s my way of showing respect back to him.”
Like the man he sought to pay honor, Tyson is also a man of few words and big actions. This uniform and shoes are a personal expressing of who he is and what is important to him. While at the same time adding a hip, stylish trend to today’s sports scene.
It all depends on who you ask about the significance of gear to athletes.“We need to get some type of flame-retardant uniform in case he catches on fire,” said Drummond, no stranger to hyperbole. “He’s running so doggone fast.”
I couldn’t sum it up any better than that.
By Jay Hicks.