During my time in Campus, we had a terrible nickname for the first few minutes of meal time at the CCU mess which was rumoured to stand for Chama Cha Ugali (well actually it was the Central Catering Unit). It was called the ‘Opening Ceremony’ when people would shove and push to ensure that they got the top layered grub. The Olympics Opening Ceremony was quite the opposite! Organized to the point of perfection, it also featured some fireworks that led people to exclaim: What the fake!
The real fireworks however, really came when Usain Bolt decided to sprint away with the 100m gold medal with such style and bravado that it gave a new meaning to the word ‘fast’ whilst it sealed his mantle as the Fastest Man on Planet Earth. He broke his own record. He celebrated during the race… and then won, a sequence that is often reversed by other athletes.
Bolt ran the first 70m and then looked at the TV screen, saw that he was in front of the pack and started celebrating thumping his chest as he watched himself win!
The TV commentator was as ecstatic – What a win! What a win! Bolt first, Daylight Second and Third - as people scrambled with finishing their top stories only to realize that they had no idea who was second and third. Those who had ten second timers on their cameras only managed to get a shot of Bolt celebrating. The proverbial horse had bolted.
Whilst some commentators bored us to death sometimes with sentences such as: ‘We win gold!’ (we can see that, eejits, it was not some aluminium that our athlete won) when in actual sense the gold was solely won by the person competing, there was something orgasmic about Usain’s mode of triumph.
Before he set off for his next race at exactly Bolt O’clock, I got a text from a friend asking whether he would kiss the ground at the 170m mark and still win the 200m Final. Or make one of those Per Second Billing phone calls from a Safaricom number to his Prime Minister and update him on the race. He did none of that! But at the end of the race, the initials WR were still flashing. And he kissed the ground AFTER the race.
Questions were raised as which rapper would be the first to use his name in a rhyme. Kanye West won hands down with the lyric: I said I had to bolt, girl was like "Are U Sane?"
It was beautiful seeing this athlete at the games and lighting them up as he did. Beautiful. Quite as beautiful as Leryn Franco the Paraguay javelin thrower who financed her participation at the games with proceeds from the modeling career.
London 2012 next up.