Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bryan Clay is a Sweetie

I was lucky to meet Bryan Clay, US Gold Medal Decathlete. A humble, polite young man. He is at our hotel with his family - his parents are the same mix as Tiger Woods'. But guess what - our Usain is THE man at the Olympics!

Bolt leaves U.S. decathlon gold in the dust

By LYNN ZINSER, New York Times

Last update: August 22, 2008 - 8:38 PM
BEIJING -- The contrast between the events could not have been more stark, coming as they did right after each other Friday night at the Olympic stadium. Jamaica's Asafa Powell flew past the finish line with the final leg of an amazing world record in the 4x100-meter relay, his teammate Usain Bolt soaring after him to celebrate.

But for all the speed and joy of the fastest set of men on Earth, they followed an event that is much less appreciated in the United States and almost unimaginably grueling. American Bryan Clay's triumphant moment in the decathlon came after he all but staggered across the finish line at the end of the 1,500 meters. The track announcer greeted him with the news that he was the Olympic champion, to which Clay responded by pitching forward onto the track.

"I'd love for this to be a spark for the decathlon and bring it back to the forefront of track and field," said Clay, whose 8,791 points outdistanced the silver medalist, Alexander Pogorelov of Russia, who had 8,551. "We've got the title of world's greatest athlete, and it's back on U.S. soil. I don't know about anybody else, but it means something to me."

Clay became the first American decathlete since Dan O'Brien in 1996 to win the gold medal, but he ceded the spotlight to Bolt, the world's fastest man, who snared his third gold medal of the Games and helped break a third world record.

Bolt, who had astonishing performances in winning the 100 and 200, ran the third leg of the relay Friday as if fired from a cannon. By the time Bolt passed the baton, the only question was by how much the Jamaicans would break the record. Their time of 37.10 seconds sliced an unfathomable 0.30 seconds from the mark. Trinidad and Tobago snatched the silver, and Japan grabbed a surprising bronze.

"You really can't explain what has happened here," Bolt said. "It's just a great feeling. This is what we've all been working for."

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