So, what if Michael Phelps had a huge lead in the 200 meter freestyle, and as he approached the finish he flipped over and started doing a lazy backstroke, spitting water up like a fountain? Or the U.S. women's basketball team, ahead by 30 in the gold medal game, running around making Harlem Globetrotter moves? Hard to speculate how that would go over. Reactions were mixed regarding Usain Bolt's win in the 100 meters on Saturday, as the Jamaican won so handily that he eased up over the last 20 meters, looked around and gestured to the crowd, still breaking his own world record at 9.69. Some say he could have run a 9.59 if he hadn't been screwing around at the end. Does that matter? Depends who you ask. "I was having fun," Bolt said. "That's just me — I like to have fun." Some message board commenters didn't have fun watching it, though:
Bolt is a tool of epic proportions. No need to showboat like that. Just be a man and be gracious.Most writers who witnessed it, however, had no problem with Bolt's chest-pounding, including ESPN's Jim Caple. Unless he was being sarcastic. It's hard to tell.
Frankly, I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping Usain Bolt would showboat a little more at the end of the 100 meters. You know, drop a Leslie Nielsen move from "Naked Gun" and moonwalk the last 10 meters, or perform a little Michael Flatley "Riverdance" routine.Yes, Bolt gets low points for creativity. I would have liked to see him produce a "Free Tibet" banner. Or balance his checkbook. And later, Bolt finished second in his 200m prelim heat to Rondell Sorrillo of Trinidad and/or Tobago. Of course, Bolt was probably dogging it there as well. UPDATE: Did Bolt slow down so that he could make more money in the future? Darren Rovell ponders that. Bolt Breaks 100-Meter Record, Wins Olympic Gold [Washington Post]