If ever a dose of inspiration was needed by mankind, it is needed today. In an era of crumbling institutions and collapsing values there are only a handful of outstanding people today who show the way to those who have their hearts in the right place.
While each field of human endeavour has its torch bearers in the form of the exemplary heroes or heroines, Usain Bolt is the undisputed champion of the sporting arena.
One look at his unflagging zeal, his unbridled enthusiasm and his extraordinary ability to excel himself, and we cannot help but get goose pimples. Even for those who are not sports buffs, the sight of a man almost six and a half feet tall tearing down the track while leaving many men of mettle easily behind is enough to excite the mind.
Bolt not only wins, he wins with consummate ease. He not only breaks records, he displays effervescent joy openly and unabashedly each time, as no other champion before him has.
His achievements are so enormous already, at the age of 27, that he literally stands tall as the most celebrated sports person of the 21st century. In an era that has been adorned by the likes of Michael Phelps, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods and Sachin Tendulkar- all towering greats of their respective sports, the sprinter from Jamaica threatens to surge ahead of them all.
At the recently concluded World Championships of Athletics, the crowd went totally gaga over him when he performed the Cossack dance before a packed stadium in Moscow after winning the 100 metres gold medal. His bow-and-arrow style of celebrating each victory is already a part of folklore. By repeating his Beijing Olympics heroics at London last year and by picking up another 3 Gold Medals, he has already etched his name a notch above all others of his ilk.
What then is the Bolt impact? Today’s youngsters have few role models to look up to. Bolt provides the kind of glamour coupled with astonishing capability that young people can strive to emulate. Whether the impact of his tremendous personality and his earth-shaking successes will filter down to dusty villages in India or other countries remains to be seen. The fact remains that Bolt, by his magical deeds, has left no stone unturned in sending out oodles of inspiration to all corners of the world. Indeed, school teachers across the globe would do well to show their students a picture or two of the great man and relate a few anecdotes about him. Some of those wide eyed kids may well feel inspired enough to go on and shine gloriously in their chosen paths as a result.
And the Bolt legend continues to grow. Falmouth, a small town in Jamaica, is planning to install a statue of his in order to boost tourism! The picture of him sprinting to the finish line at Moscow with a bolt of lightning visible in the background sky is already one of the most discussed shots ever.
Thus, while Usain Bolt continues to scorch the tracks with effortless ease, it is we onlookers who are left utterly breathless each time!