When Usain Bolt shot across the finishing line last night to pick up the Olympic gold medal for the 100 meters in the blistering time of 9.63 seconds, the roar of approval from the stadium was echoed from every pub and front room in the land. For although he wears the colours of Jamaica, there is no doubt in the British mind that he is 'One Of Us'
And we love him because he never moans on about the hours of dedication and training his sport requires. Instead, he revels in giving the impression that he does it all as an after thought and just for fun. Witness the following:
- No special diets for our man. He says he ate a few chicken nuggets before the big contest.
- No early nights either. He crashed his car on his way back from a party at 5.15am just weeks before the Games.
- He didn't even bother to do up his shoelaces properly in Beijing and still came in first.
- He has time to look behind him before he crosses the finishing line to see where lesser mortals are placed.
- He reached the top of the board in Top Gear's 'Stars in Reasonably Priced Cars' section and he bowled out cricketer Chris Graham giving the impression he could have taken up another sport if he felt like it.
- He makes crowd-pleasing lightning bolt gestures when he wins.
- He laughs and laughs and never comes near to weeping in victory.
- He may be Jamaican, but all in all, he is a very British sort of hero.