Longtime friends Mo Farah and Usain Bolt exchange victory salutes
Among the five things we learned from the penultimate day at the Olympics are that an official tried and failed to take the relay baton away from Usian Bolt following the Jamaican's world record-breaking performance. The Olympic Stadium may soon be at the centre of a great British debate. And Usian Bolt and the British distance runner Mo Farah are mates from way back.
- That behind Usain's Bolt's Antarctic-chilled exterior lies a burningly defiant spirit. And all we can say to that in our best Jamaican patois is: 'Yeah man." In the prelude to the Games, most pundits concurred that Usain Bolt would have to retain his 100 metres crown to be considered a sprint legend.
Bolt disagreed, stating that he'd have to retain both his 100 and 200 metres titles for him to regard himself as a legend. He won the 100 metres and the encomiums streamed forth. No, he stressed, the 200 is required. After winning the 200 metres and becoming the first man to achieve back to back doubles, he was thus happy to assert that he'd done what he said he needed to do and he could be now referred to as a living legend. However Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee suggested that Bolt should wait until the end of his career before conferring such lustre on his own highness. You sane Jacques? Clearly not. Bolt, ever his own best cheerleader, responded "What else do I need to do to prove myself as a legend? I've won both events twice at the Olympics. I've won world championship gold medals. I've broken world records many times so I don't know what else to do really. When next time you see him [Rogge] I think you should ask him what Usain needs to do because I don't know what else to do really." Over to you Jackie boy.
They must loathe and love Usain St Leo Bolt in equal measure in the corridors of the International Olympic Committee. This is the second time the boy from Trelawny has redefined the view of the Games. The Bird's Nest was the backdrop for his spectacular emergence four years ago and the Olympic Stadium in east London has been the journey into an unknown stratosphere. Sorry Jacques, he is a legend and he is living. And what's more he quickens pulses. There was some poor sap on Saturday night who tried to stop Bolt keeping the baton with which the Jamaican 4x100 quartet had just smashed their own world record. Talk about killjoy. And as Bolt led the crowd in a Mexican wave after his medal ceremony, a protocol obsessed official tried to usher Bolt away. She sensibly removed herself. These aren't the Olympics my dear, this is Saturday night in the Usainadome.
- Bolt and the British distance runner Mo Farah are mates from way back (their words). After winning the relay gold, Bolt did the Mobot - Farah's victory dance in which his arms form the shape of an M over his head. Earlier after securing the 10,000 metres, Farah did some sit ups ... this was to better Bolt who had clearly opted for the less demanding press-ups routine after his win in the 200m earlier in the week. Before the unlikely mates dispersed, there was a choice vignette of unrestrained youthful joy on the Olympic podium of Farah doing Bolt's bowman's stance and Bolt in a Mobot mood. Oh you boys, such high jinks.
- Never leave a stadium early in which Usain Bolt is appearing. You pay to see the races but antic disposition is for free. For Bolt, the races are business. This living legend likes to engage. There are precious few superstars who want to do anything as unsavoury as engaging with the public so when you find one who connects so effortlessly, he or she has to be cherished.
- Cometh the hour, cometh the arena. Seven days ago there was Super Saturday in which the Britons Jessica Ennis won gold in the women's heptathlon, Greg Rutherford claimed the men's long jump and Farah won the 10,000 metres. On Saturday Farah became only the seventh man to win the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the same Games thereby joing the likes of Emil Zatopek, Lasse Viren and Kenenisa Bekelele. The future of the Olympic Stadium will be one of the great debates in Britain once members of the Olympic family have left to scour the plush bits of Rio for the next junket. It's still unclear which London football team will use the stadium. But while it was on show, the stadium - in football speak - done good.