|Shortly after winning his second gold in the 200m, Bolt lashed out at Lewis for comments made. (Getty Images)|
Only a few things Usain Bolt could do in the immediate wake of his gold medal 200-meter sprint that could create a headline as big as the one he earned in that race.
Calling out the most decorated American track athlete of all-time is one of them.
In his post-race press conference, Bolt went after Carl Lewis, saying he had "no respect" for the man anymore. Why? Because Lewis has been critical of Bolt's ability in the past, even as early as a few weeks saying he didn't think Bolt could match his then-unmatched accomplishment: winning back-to-back golds in the 100 meters.
Bolt did that, did it faster than Lewis, then four days later, on Thursday night, got the 200 gold. After the celebrations ended and Bolt fulfilled his media obligations with a massive press conference, things went in a different direction. He was able to reflect on his legacy, but also get things off his chest now that he'd won the two most important races of his life, the two races that cemented his status as a sprinting deity.
"I'm going to say something controversial. Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him," Bolt said. "The things he says about the track athletes are very downgrading. I think he's just looking for attention because nobody really talks about him. I've lost all respect for him. All respect."
Bolt gave further context to his feeling, as he explained that his issues with Lewis go deeper than the public doubt the man cast upon Bolt and fellow Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake. Lewis has also inferred drug tampering for the Jamaicans, too.
"All the drug stuff," Bolt said. "For an athlete to be out of the sport and to be saying that is really upsetting."
These comments will have huge impact, so much so that they transcend the Olympic/track-and-field world. Bolt's one of the most famous active sports stars in the world now, and it's unlikely he'll catch too much flak for saying this. Lewis, although a legend, at this point is known nearly as much for his miserable singing as he is his incredible Olympic achievements.
And Lewis is not one to take a pass at a quote. Chances are his phone has already been ringing nonstop from friends and reporters looking for his response.
With a few days left at these Olympics, something unexpected has happened in track. The biggest battle in the sport isn't taking place between the lanes.