It’s gotta be the yams, right? Once again, Usain Bolt established himself as the Fastest Man in the World. Oh wait, that wasn’t all? He broke an Olympic Record (his own, of course) and rocked a gold-medal repeat for the first time since Carl Lewis in 1988? Yeah he did.
I’ll be the first (or millionth) to say it: Usain Bolt is a ridiculous person. He is confident well past the point of arrogance. When his name was called at the finals, he mimicked a DJ spinning turntables, made dubious hand motions (I’m assuming they were meant to evoke running legs, but they could have easily been… ahem… misconstrued), did a Jersey Shore-style eyebrow smooth-out, and finally mimed an OK Corral-style double-gun draw. Seriously, if that sequence of gestures hasn’t been GIF’ed by now, I don’t know why the Internet exists. Still… that roar of 65,000 people vibrating the stadium?
That was for him.
It’s not to say the 100m wasn’t chockablock with fierce competitors. There was another former gold medalist in Jason Gatlin, the current World Champion Yohan Blake, Team USA’s Tyson Gay (the only man who’s truly beaten Bolt in the 100m since Beijing), and another of the four fastest men in the world, Jamaica’s Asafa Powell.
But it was all about Bolt. He killed it. Then kept running. Then did a victory dance. Then pumped up the crowd some more.
That’s Usain Bolt for you.
He’s ridiculous. And I mean that as a compliment.
- Oscar Pistorius. Though he did not make it to the finals, Pistorius did make history in his 400m semifinal run. So inspiring was Pistorius’ achievement that not only was he able to realize a personal dream of competing against able-bodied Olympians, he prompted gold-medal frontrunner Kirani James (from Grenada) to trade name bibs with him after the race.
- Sanya Richards-Ross, three-time Olympian — finally a gold medalist! — and wife of former New York Giants cornerback Aaron Ross. This quote clenched it: “I’m going to lay my gold medal on top of his Super Bowl Rings.” (Points also awarded for her forearm flair, flowing hair, nail art, and Chanel earrings. Sanya does not play when it comes to personal style.)
- Kazakhstan’s golden triple jumper Olga Rypakova, track and field’s blond gazelle who looks like Kerri Walsh-Jennings’ scrappy younger sis. (Honorable mention to Russia’s Tatyana Lebedeva. Her five-medal Olympic streak may have ended last night, but her reverse mullet dye job should go down in the books.)
- Chilean gymnast Enrique Tomás González, who was nearly as good at his routine as he is at growing a lustrous mustache.
- Dutch bronze medalist judoka Edith Bosch, for helping to apprehend the jackhole who threw a beer bottle on the track before the 100m dash. Now that is the Olympic spirit.