Now that events have started it has made the long days so much more enjoyable. I sit on the backstretch and watch people jump really far. That’s probably the best way to describe it. When my event is over for the day or session I usually go the gate right past the finish line and watch whatever is happening on the track. I like to think it’s the best seat in the house.
The one event that is guaranteed to draw one of the biggest audiences is always the Men’s 100m Final. That is the one race I was really excited about before the games started. I wanted to see how fast these men actually ran in person, and I was hoping that our local favorite, Tyson Gay, would walk away a Gold Medalist. I was disappointed for Tyson when he didn’t make the final, I can’t imagine working my whole life for something like this and come up short.
I really get a first hand look at all these athletes, and the worst part is to see their disappointment when they don’t live up to their hopes. Watching the joy explode from someone’s body when they medal is one of the most exciting things I have ever seen, but to me it’s the look of dejection after a race that will last longer. I’m sure there is some TV coverage of the non-medalists in the final races, throws, or jumps, but I look at the faces of those who don’t even make the finals and just feel so bad for them. There isn’t a “just wait til next year” for them, there isn’t even a “just wait til the next Olympics” for the majority of them. It’s just over.
Now on the man that this post is titled after…Usian Bolt. What an incredible athlete! During the finals I was down along the gate right after the finish line, the best seat in the house. There were about 5 of us down there and our boss came up to us right before the race started and wanted us to block the entire gate so no one would get in the way of the camera. Like any good employees we listened to our boss and saw Bolt fly right towards us. I really am not eloquent enough with words to describe how awesome it was. Those men, even the one that finished 8th is so fast.
The stadium went absolutely nuts when he crossed the finish line, and good thing he didn’t show boat at all when he won. We were all pumped to see a world record right in front of us. If the night had ended like that I would have been pleased. But there was more. When Bolt was running around the track for his victory lap our boss asked for two people to help him. When Bolt got back to the front one of the cameramen ran out there to get some close shots. The reason why we were out there was to make sure he didn’t trip over anything or anyone and that no one really got in his way. That was pretty cool to be out there near the middle of the track for one of the biggest victory celebrations of the games.
The night was not over yet. Every athlete that competes has to go through the “Mix Zone” which is where all the broadcasters have paid to put a camera and a reporter. They can interview any athlete for their own country. There are about 5 levels to the mix zone with about 10 spots at each level. After they get through that part they walk down to the back underneath the stands where it is basically a free for all. In that area there is a barricade that separates the media from the athletes. Usually there aren’t a lot of people down there but after the Men’s 100 it was packed. They push and push trying to get their mics or cameras in for a good shot or quote. Our job was to squat down and push back on the barricade so it wouldn’t topple over. That means we were continually about 8 inches away from the fastest man in the world. That was one of the coolest things to me, being so close to him. Our boss took some pictures from down there but I haven’t gotten them yet, I will post them for sure when I do get them. I do have some pictures from that night that I will post.