Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bolting - it's a thing

I thought getting to see track on Tuesday night was a once in an Olympics type thing. So imagine how out of my mind I was when I was handed THIS. The Golden Ticket. Track and Field the night that Usain Bolt, David Rudisha, Nick Symmonds, Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee will be bringing their beasty Olympic selves. Some of my absolute favorites competing in the biggest night of track and field and I get to BE there?

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

And it wasn't just any old ticket. Oh, no.

It was a twelfth row seat.

Twelfth row.

I'm sorry - what? Yes, I read my ticket correctly. That seat, right down there so close to the field that I could feel Usain Bolt sweating, that's where I'm going to be sitting.

You could have pushed me over with a feather. In fact, I think I sat down right away just in case I DID fall over. I went with the other gymnastics producer and she looked at me laughing and said, "you're going to die, aren't you?"

Yes. Yes, I am.

They intersperse medal ceremonies throughout the evening and typically do the last event of the night before first so we got to see the amazing Allyson Felix get her gold medal. I definitely got teary during the national anthem.

And I had to get used to feeling teary while the national anthem played because I think we heard it another 4 times that night! America = really fast at running.

One of the things I was most excited to see was Nick Symmonds of the U.S. race in the 800m. I've been cheering for him since Beijing and I'm a huge fan of his outspokenness and candor. And of course, his amazing Milwaukee connection.

Looking good, Nick!!

During the first lap (can't believe I got this pic with my phone. It was instagrammed immediately, of course.... although I did at least wait until after the race.)

David Rudisha isn't quite human. But what a face. He has an almost regal presence. Never seems to get too worked up, never seems to get too upset, just calm, even, steady. And then he unleashes his run and you can't believe that what you're seeing is real.

Will Claye taking his victory lap after winning the silver medal in the triple jump. I was screaming my head off and I actually made eye contact with him. So, now we're best friends.

But all of that amazing was just the warm-up to this. The Bolt.

When he entered the arena, other events were still going on but the whole place immediately erupted with flashbulbs. And that was how you know Bolt was in the house.

He oozes charisma. Charm. Magic. And he's awfully fast too.

The place went nuts when he took his victory lap with the other two Jamaicans who went 2-3. Jamaica sweep!

The next morning I saw the BBC interview with Bolt that happened right before this victory lap (or right after? I don't even know) They were live on the air and were trying to talk to all three but they timed the interview to happen right when Rudisha was getting his medal. The Kenyan national anthem started to play right as the BBC broadcaster tried to begin his interview (the bad timing was likely due to the huge, extended celebration that happened after Bolt won, but still)

The three Jamaicans turned towards the flag to pay their respects to Rudisha and the national anthem. But the BBC was live and the broadcaster panicked a bit - or really, showed his complete lack of morals. He grabbed Warren Weir who had finished third and pulled him forward towards the mic saying, "I know you’re listening but we just need a few words." He tried to play it off like it was funny but it was horrible. Weir didn't know what to do so he answered the questions.

Bolt though - he stayed with his back the broadcaster the entire time (and no way was the guy grabbing BOLT like he grabbed Weir). Extremely classy. Jamaica 1. BBC 0.

Oh, and I did a bit of breakdancing in Olympic Park due to a dare issued on twitter.


Everyone was doing the Bolt. Everyone.

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