Saturday, October 20, 2012

How Usain Bolt Teaches Us New Ways to Battle Failure

After winning the 200m gold in the London Olympics, the Jamaican sprinter proceeded to do a few push ups to tell the world he had enough and more energy to push himself further.

Never had another athlete in history brazenly displayed such energy when competitors were catching a few breaths after the race.

His act earned him fans worldwide.

But glory did not come on a silver platter for him. Rather a lot of hard work and training got him there.

Knowing well that he's not fast off the blocks, he worked hard on his start and finished with that final kick.

At 6 feet 5 inches, he's tall and full of muscle. And he's proud of his six packs. He trains three times a day and keeps himself fit even during the off season.

Bolt's Defining Moment
Some moments in life are defining. Bolt experienced that in Zagreb where he raced with American Justin Gatlin. Warming up before the race, Bolt and Gatlin were limbering up in the tracks.

Suddenly, Gatlin in a show of intimidation spat across Bolt's tracks.

That was enough to strengthen his resolve to win the race. He wanted to show that he'd like some respect.
Bolt raced ahead and left Gatlin behind in history.

Now, Bolt is confident of running 100m in 9.4 seconds. "You never know, I may be the one to run 9.4secs. I'd really like that," he declared before the Olympics 2012.

Failure Brings out the Best in Everyone
In the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Fellow Jamaican Blake blasted his way to win, after Bolt erred with a false start. That was a wake up call. He never wanted to lose again. It was just painful. Loss is too painful to bear, he said.

In 2007 he lost the 200 m dash at Brussels. But Blake swore to silence his critics. And silence he did in style, breaking the 19.32 mark set in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics, by Michael Johnson.

After his Olympic double, he declared himself a legend. Like Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.

Show of Arrogance
Anyone who saw him sprint in London knows that he deliberately slowed down before the finish, even looking over his shoulder to see his competitors.

Arrogance, one may say. But it's just that he's leagues ahead of competition. His trademark Lightning Bolt pose, an archery pose symbolizes his dominance.

And why shouldn't he when he holds the records for 100m and 200m with record timings of 9.58 secs and 19.19 secs.

And yes, people love him. His Facebook page has 8M likes and the iPhone game Bolt 1M downloads.

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