I remember clearly the tornado of controversy that was stirred up when Usain Bolt set fire to the bird’s nest in China with record breaking runs at the Olympics last year. Many accused him of being “disrespectful” to his fellow athletes, some alleged that his early pull up in the 100m was “financially motivated” and the performance enhancement speculation continue to swirl. Despite all that however Usain Bolt has emerged from Beijing a superstar and the only comparable performance to his at the games was the equally impressive performance of American swimmer Micheal Phelps in the pool.
A Jamaica Observer cartoon on the Micheal Phelps vs Usain Bolt double standard
Micheal has been hot water recently however when a photo emerged of him smoking marijuana, but can you imagine the tidal wave of controversy that would have erupted if the poster boy athlete in that photograph was Jamaica’s Usain Bolt?
Mr Phelps has summed it up as “regretable behaviour” but the response of the International Olympic Comittee, sponsors and international media has been something of an eye opener with the IOC stating it was confident Phelps would learn from his “inappropriate behavior” and continue to serve as a role model.
I am not bitter but am I wrong to feel the IOC and world media would have made a meal of this if it was Bolt?