Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has become the only man in Olympic history to win both the 100M and 200M race in consecutive Olympic games, putting him in a category by himself and making him an instant living legend. Although he might present himself at times as an arrogant and cocky guy, he’s managed to be the most likeable athlete in sports today.
That all could change in the next few days to come as the towering 6’5′ “Living Legend” had some fighting words for Carl Lewis, a U.S. track and field legend himself who won nine gold medals for America during his brilliant sprinting and jumping career. When Bolt was asked about the greatest sprinters of all time, with the names Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis mentioned, he immediately gave props to Owens then announced, “I’m going to say something controversial.”
“Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him,” Bolt said. “The things he says about the track athletes are very downgrading. I think he’s just looking for attention because nobody really talks about him. I’ve lost all respect for him. All respect.” Bolt was asked what caused him to lose respect for Lewis. “All drug stuff,” he responded.
These fighting words from Bolt were said as a result of what happened four years ago when he exploded in Beijing, where he won three gold medals. Lewis questioned Bolt’s huge time drop in the 100 meters, from 10.03 to 9.69 in the course of a year. “If you don’t question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you’re a fool. Period.” Lewis said.
Bolt fired back to his remarks by stating, “For an athlete to be out of the sport and be saying that is really upsetting,” he said Thursday night. Bolt currently has five gold medals under his belt with a chance to capture another in the 4×100 relay, yet he has renounced his greatness in the same category as Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan as global sports icons. He has also placed himself on the same level as Bob Marley in terms of importance to Jamaica.
Spitters, does this man have the right to egotistically call himself a “Living Legend and place himself amongst other legendary individuals due to his accomplishments or should he leave that to the sports world and let his body of work speak for itself?