Why We Loved The Rio Olympics: Another Jolt From Usain Bolt

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Usain St. Leo Bolt has beaten the best and he’s ravished the rest. He’s conquered his counterparts at every turn. And this is only part of his allure.

Usain Bolt won the 100m dash. Then he won the 200m dash. And THEN he crowned these Olympics off and capped the Games of XXXI Olympiad with a crowning, royal diadem of a 4 x 100m dash performance for the ages. Just as we love to watch a deer run through the woods and watch a cheetah race across the plain, so we love to watch Usain bolt down the track.

So what is Bolt’s mystery ingredient? What is Bolt’s secret weapon? Wha does Usain have that the other sprinters lack? (Not counting his extraordinary height, or course.)  First and foremost, Usain Bolt is supremely confident.  Usain’s almost insane confidence is not just in himself, per se; his confidence  lies rooted and grounded in his uncanny ability to transcend the circumstances, whatever they may be, to achieve gold.

Bolt is a believer. He’s a man of faith. But he’s also a man full of fundamentals. He just doesn’t believe or hope or dream; he works hard. He trains hard. He practices long and he strives for perfection.  And he’s sustained this streak of dominance and eminence over time, so he’s no flash in the pan.

Bolt is a boyish “Bella.” His speed and his strength and his gold medals are only icing on the cake. It’s his charm and his charisma, and most of all, his confidence, that are the soul of this human machine, and this surefire assurance is what we love and admire about him the most.

Usain Bolt: Pride of Jamaica

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A hero is someone who helps without expecting anything in return. Their gesture may be big or small; but profound or not, it doesn’t make him any less of a hero. Does this define Usain Bolt? In the minds and hearts of boys and girls and men and women the world over, Usain’s winning and bolting and dapping may not match the traditional meaning of the term, but its close enough.

Usain Bolt just won the men’s 100 m dash for the third straight Olympics. He defeated his arch-rival Justin Gatlin and the rest of the field to win gold in “just” 9.80 seconds. And his dominance in the sport spans past the Olympics, as he set a new World Record of 9.58 in 2009.

Usain has bolted to super stardom as he has led his tiny island nation of Jamaica to world track and field dominance. So he’s more than a hero; he’s conquered oh, so many hearts and he is the shining star of a nation.

Usain has unusual height for a sprinter and unmatched stamina parallel to none. His speed and his strength have earned him the title “World’s Fastest Man” for almost a decade. And his charisma and charm and magnetism and near hypnotism all combine for a compelling story that is worth telling time and again.

Note From Mo Farah: “Get Back Up and Get Back Going!”

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Mo Farah is my hero. Yes Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps and Simone Biles and Simone Manuel and Michelle Carter all won gold medals and won over untold hearts, but Mo Farah is my main man. He won after he FELL! That’s right, he fell down in the middle of the race after inadvertently tripping on his training mates leg. Yet despite the fall, Farah won after all.  

One sports writer put it this way:

“It would not be Super Saturday at the Olympics without a run of blistering brilliance by Mo Farah and in Rio’s Stadio Olimpico Britain’s greatest long distance runner turned the men’s 10,000m final into an epic rerun of Chariots of Fire when he fell during an enthralling, unrelenting race and recovered to blast past leader Paul Tanui on the home straight to take gold and retain his Olympic crown.

Farah, who became the first British track and field athlete to win three Olympic gold medals, was inadvertently tripped by training partner Galen Rupp midway through the race in Rio’s Olympic Stadium and even though he recovered quickly and gave the thumbs up as he ran on, the way he fought back from the setback adds yet more lustre to his astonishing career.

This was another quite remarkable performance from Farah, a storybook triumph, after he chased Kenyan Tanui down the back straight on the final lap and then sprinted past him, leaving him powerless to retaliate.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-3739523/Mo-Farah-defends-Olympic-10-000m-title-land-GB-s-10th-gold-Rio-Games.html#ixzz4HGj2umgp Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

It was so spiritual, so divine, so mystical and mythical that you had to see it to even believe it. And I believe that it wasn’t in spite of the fall that Farah won; it was BECAUSE of the fall that he got back up and got back going. The fall was fuel for his fire and grist for his mill. The fall made the rise even more dramatic. The stumble and the stagger were turned to a humble swagger; and the setback was just a setup for a comeback which made the turnaround  truly astounding.  

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Britain’s Mo Farah wins the gold in the men’s 10,000-meter during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

It was properly providential that he fell on the track and could have fallen out of the race. Instead, Farah fell into our hearts as yet another example of how to get back up and get back going, again.

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

Proverbs 24:16, KJV

Come Back from Way Back: You Gotta Bounce Back, a.k.a., Bouncebackability

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What do track and field and baseball have in common? In fact, what commonality do all of sports share? Comebacks.

If it was a movie, most people would have scoffed and said it was impossible. But it happened. Just ask anyone from Boston, they’ll tell you they were at the games. The hated rival New York Yankees were embarrassing the Boston Red Sox on their way to a 3-0 lead in the 2004 best-of-seven ALCS, including a 19-8 shellacking in Game 3.

Most Red Sox fans now will say they always believed it could happen. They would be lying.

Game 4 went into extra innings but ended with David “Big Papi” Ortiz hitting walk-off home run in the 12th inning to avoid the sweep. Papi then hit a game-winning single in the 14th to win Game 5. From there came Curt Schilling’s bloody sock game and lots of home runs in Game 7… Leading to the Red Sox’ first World Series win in 86 years and the greatest comeback in team sports.  It was so good that ESPN did a 30 for 30 documentary on it, “Four Days in October.” And my story is almost as dramatic.

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I ran track in high school.

Because I was the only high hurdler on the team, I ran the 110-meter hurdles out of necessity. The last track meet of senior year was the Penn Jersey Conference Championships. My father, who had never witnessed any of my meets, was able to attend this one. The race was called the start was clean. But at the eighth or ninth hurdle, I banged elbows with the runner next to me. The collision set off a chain reaction. I crashed into the next hurdle and down I went, taking a few other runners with me.

Looking back, an onlooker who wanted to mix sports metaphors could have screamed, “Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!” (The immortal words of Howard Cosell.) Anyway, the picture was as unsightly as a train wreck. Disappointed, mad and embarrassed, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and went to sulk on the other side of the track. Soon, after a huddling of coaches and officials, the decision was made to run the race over, with no penalties to any runner. I was relieved when my coach came jogging over to relay the news.

The storybook ending is this: I won the race, and was honored to be First Team – All Conference. Finishing first, my last race was my best one, and the only one my father saw me run. I was glad to make my Dad proud.

Looking back, I often use this race as inspiration for life. How many times have I stumbled and inadvertently caused others to fall, but yet I was given a second chance? (Too many to tell here!) After each fall, each miss-step and each mistake, I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start over again. I call it “bounce-back-ability:” It’s the ability to get back up and keep it moving.

We should live with the knowledge that as we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, we make “Dad” proud by enduring trials, temptations and utter collapses. Our Heavenly Father is not looking down with anger or disdain; He loves us and wants the best for us. He is there cheering us on and encouraging us to get back up and try again.