When being yourself is the best response

I’ve never believed you should suffer fools gladly – and Usain Bolt showed the best way to silence the “foolish” IOC president, Jacques Rogge by winning his third gold medal and setting another world record in the Olympics today.

Responding to the Belgian bureaucrat’s crass remarks about the way in which he reacts to being the fastest man on the planet, Bolt said:

“It’s a great thing and people love this and it really doesn’t matter what people think or comment because I know it pleases the fans… The fans love it when I do it, I do it for myself, the country and the fans… I’m showing them my personality.”

Like much of the world media, I’m with Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports on this issue: Rogge rips the wrong guy

Bolt is everything the Olympics are supposed to be about. He isn’t the product of some rich country, some elaborate training program that churns out gold medals by any means necessary.

He’s a breath of fresh air, a guy who came out of nowhere to enrapture the world with his athletic performance and colorful personality. This is no dead-eye product of some massive machine.

Meanwhile, British minister Tessa Jowell has criticised media criticism of China, as the UK government gets out a begging bowl seeking corporate sponsors for its 2012 financial shortfalls.  According to the BBC, the new sponsorship initiative “Medal Hopes” plans to:

sell access to British athletes as they prepare for the 2012 Olympics to local, regional and national sponsors.

Undoubtedly the “sponsored athletes” will be expected to do more than demonstrate natural exuberance in return for being “sold” to the highest bidders. 

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

2 thoughts on “When being yourself is the best response”

  1. Toronto has quite a large Jamaican community, plus some of our past Olympic sprinters were born there (e.g., Johnston, Bailey). I have yet to converse or correspond with a Canadian who has a single bad thing to say about either Bolt’s run or his post-run “performance.” (His medals were celebated in multiple media platforms, as I’m sure they were in the UK.) I was reading yesterday’s article in the Toronto Star by Rosie DiManno, Bolt a welcome shock for shamed sport. These were the paragraphs I found the most fascinating (particularly the one about a starchy diet!).

    “The question has been asked repeatedly here, however: How can a nation of 2.6 million churn out so many splendid sprinters?

    Intense rivalry among runners, say some, Bolt and Powell clearly pushing each other, swapping world records, but thousands of youths are involved in the high school sprint program.

    Others attribute the phenomenon to a Jamaican diet heavy on such staples as yams and bananas and breadfruit. Wellesley Bolt supports this view, giving credit to the local Trelawny yam for his son’s speed.

    There has been discussion, also awkward, of a genetic predisposition for sprints among Jamaicans. More scientifically, perhaps, was a recent joint study by the University of Glasgow and the University of the West Indies which found a “fast-twitch muscle gene” – Actinen A – in 70 per cent of 200 Jamaican athletes examined. Something about making the legs go faster.

    I don’t know. Such claims tend to take the magic out of human marvels.”

    BTW, the other morning the mostly middle-aged newscasters on CTV’s Canada AM were happily trying to recreate his “Lightening Bolt” stance. Except they looked silly.

    I think Bolt is a wonderful breath of fresh air…particularly when compared to a previous (American) multiple, gold-medal winner who was teeth-gnashingly arrogant in his wins. Rogge should take a chill pill and spend more time on slightly more important things, such as which medal winners were under-aged, etc.

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