POSTED: July 26th 2012
NEIL WILSON: Bolt has walk-on part in Olympics at London 2012
THE NEIL WILSON COLUMN / An exclusive, authoritative series from Sports Features Communications
July 26 - Good news for those who have paid £2,012 for the front seat in the house at the Olympic Opening Ceremony. They will be given the bonus of watching Usain Bolt in action.
He will not be running flat out. Indeed, he will not be running. At best, he will manage a pedestrian pace as he parades before the Jamaican team in the parade of nations as their flag carrier.
So the world’s fastest man will be moving at the pace of the world’s slowest ceremony, an event that will last so long that some of the athletes will not get to bed until well after the bed time any sensible coach would wish to impose.
For Bolt it is a low key warm-up to seven serious races at the Olympic Games, three in each of the 100 and 200 metres and then a blast in the final of the relay.
Yesterday the great man was so laid back that at times he was horizontal. The Jamaican Olympic Association had wheeled him out finally to dispel rumours that he was among the Olympic’s walking wounded, a man beaten in his last two races and withdrawn from another.
The health, fitness and fastness of the world 100and 200 metres record holder and triple Olympic gold medallist has become a mystery every bit as intriguing as those paper backs you take to the beach in summer.
Training tracks have been guarded from prying eyes by security guards and Jamaica’s training open day was missing the athlete everybody in Birmingham came to see. We have not glimpsed him since the days when his invincibility was exposed.
Finally, yesterday, the world’s media filled a former brewery warehouse in London’s Whitechapel where the Jack the Ripper murders remain unsolved after more than a century in an effort to lay this modern mystery to rest.
NEIL WILSON reported his first Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. He has since covered another nine summer and nine winter Olympics for various newspapers, including The Independent and the Daily Mail with whom he has worked for the last 19 years as Athletics and Olympic correspondent. He was Britain's Sports Journalist of the Year in 1984 and is the author of seven books.
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