Who is the next Usain Bolt?
July 13, 2010 by Jay Hicks
In 2004 there was concern. Handwringing. Consternation.
The worldwide screaming of BOLT! BOLT! BOLT! drowned out all of that. And thoughts of the greatness? Who cares about all that with the green and gold around?
The calendar flips one year and then ten years fly by and it’s 2012.
So who is the next Usain Bolt? It would make a great round table discussion at a nice restaurant. This is the stuff of internet chat board conversations that last for days. But in actuality no one really knows.
That’s because there will never be another Usain Bolt. How long did we wait for the next Jesse Owens? Usain Bolt’s feats do not to alter the accomplishments of the aforementioned except to distinguish the two as well before their time. People weren’t ready for them.
Remember “the next” great was Carl Lewis whose nine Olympic gold medals and longevity make him royalty. Michael Johnson has left him stamp on track and field. And along the way there have been a number of phenoms who have had brushes with greatness.
The real question is who is the next phenom this time around.
If another athlete of Bolt’s caliber is coming up there is a distinct likely that he/she will not be an American, however there is a high likelihood that they will train the U.S. under some of the best coaches and facilities in the world.
There will be Tyson Gay who will more than likely accomplish enough to finish a legend. There are shooting wonders like Johnny Dutch, Jeshua Anderson and the likes of Queen Harrison who are having outstanding careers.
There have been a share that have burned out before reaching their zenith and the of course the hazardous hamstring, knee and ankle injuries that make going through the motions of a full career nearly impossible.
Usain Bolt will probably be around in 2012 and and will probably take victory laps up to 2014. He is reportedly earning $250,000 a race and will have more than enough stacks to retire.
It’s to be seen if Bolt has the business drive of Michael Johnson to become a CEO. Or the entertainment drive of Carl Lewis to take on Hollywood shine. And that is good because Bolt will be around to be the sport’s spokesperson. Which is when we may again be asking where is the next Usain Bolt.
Nearly a decade later - we may still may not have answer to the question.
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