|Carl Lewis is more qualified than any person in history to talk about Usain Bolt's challenges. (US Presswire)|
Of the more-than seven billion people on the planet, there are but a few who could say something about Usain Bolt and actually have it reverberate, causing reason to write a post such as this.
I'd think no one's words carry more weight than Carl Lewis', though. And, now, Lewis has spoken about Bolt and the London Games. Lewis is the only man in modern Olympics history to win back-to-back 100-meter dash gold medals. He did it in 1984 and 1988, with the former coming against a weakened field in Los Angeles. (Turbulent worldwide politics led to many nations not attending the Games, or giving up their spots for their best athletes. And in '88 Lewis got his gold after Ben Johnson was stripped of his three days after he won, as Johnson tested positive for steroids.)
Anyway, since Lewis is the only man with that honor, and since Bolt has the best chance at equaling Lewis' feat (or does he?), it was only a matter of time before someone got Lewis in front of a recording device to capture his thoughts on the Jamaican dynamo who's suddenly not such a sure thing anymore.
Why can't anybody except Lewis win the 100-meter twice?
Here's what he told Indo Asian News Service
"The reason it hasn't been done is because it's hard to stay at that level for a long period of time. People are always trying to beat you when you are a champion," [Lewis said]."(Yohan) Blake has beaten Bolt two years in a row now after the World Championships in 2011 and we don't know what Bolt's head is like when he loses."...
Lewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medal winner, warned about the hype surrounding Blake.
"I still don't understand this Yohan Blake situation because one year ago I had never heard of him and now everyone is saying he is the greatest," Lewis said. "But, in 2004, I went through the same thing with Maurice Greene. I said then that history defines greatness. Maurice only won bronze (in Athens) and then disappeared. That is why I let it all take place because I know how quickly it can change."
See, to me, the Blake bit is more interesting than the Bolt quip, but Bolt's the headline-maker, still. Lewis doubting Blake's chances? The guy seems a lock to medal every race he runs, and at this point, getting a gold in the 100 or 200 has to to be something close to a 50-50 chance.
Lewis also lobbied the Red, White and Blue, giving Justin Gatlin -- who missed 2008 because he was serving a four-year ban for performance-enhancing drugs -- a fair shake to win the race.
His thoughts aren't that controversial -- Lewis isn't out and out doubting Bolt or calling him out here -- but they're rational and they lead to discussion. Get ready for more of it. Lochte/Phelps and Bolt/Blake will be the two most-discussed Olympic topics for the next month. We've only just begun.
(H/T, Fourth Place Medal)