Jamaica sprints far ahead of wide world at Olympics.
Byline: George Schroeder The Register-Guard
BEIJING - Wearing skin-tight suits, they're accomplishing superhuman su·per·hu·man
1. Above or beyond the human; preternatural or supernatural.
2. Beyond ordinary or normal human ability, power, or experience: "soldiers driven mad by superhuman misery" feats, and some are now wondering if Usain Bolt Usain Bolt (born 21 August1986) is a Jamaican sprinter and current world junior and Jamaican record holder over 200 m. Early life
Bolt was born Trelawny, Jamaica) and educated at William Knibb High School. and his friends should add capes. Yes, the people back home want to know if their sprinters can fight crime.
Not the way you're thinking. Jamaican government officials want to use Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown and the rest of the speedsters as role models, not superheroes. They hope kids will decide the athletes are worthy of emulating, rather than the brutal pop culture that pervades the small island nation.
But if you were thinking cartoon blurs in green and yellow, no one here would laugh.
The Olympics end today. China will win the gold medal gold medal
traditional first prize. [Western Cult: Misc.]
See : Prize count, and the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. will win the most overall - though in track, Team USA's showing has been disappointing. But the Jamaicans might have won the most acclaim.
Led by Bolt, whose out-of-this-world records defy description - in keeping with our theme, Michael Johnson Michael Johnson or Mike Johnson may refer to:
They'll haul home six gold medals and four world records, all in the sprints.
Bolt won the 100 and 200 meters, and he and his teammates in the 4 x 100. All were world records, because gold wasn't enough.
They swept the women's 100 meters. They took gold in the 200, and in the 400-meter hurdles.
"Jamaica did well at this Olympics," Bolt said after the 4 x 100. "We practically took it over."
No one is arguing. In events once dominated by the United States, the Jamaicans are so good, it's scary. It is probably a very good thing they do not care much about swimming, or Michael Phelps For the American biophysicist, see .
Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American swimmer and World Record Holder in several events. might have eight silver medals. Or bronze.
The baton has been passed (unlike the Americans, the Jamaicans are usually able to complete that task). And this is an amazing thing, if you look at the numbers.
The Carribbean island measures 4,243 square miles. It would fit neatly into Lane County (4,722 square miles), and its population is only a little larger than metropolitan Portland's. Yet the Jamaicans have sprinted away from a nation 100 times more populated.
Earlier this week, someone asked Shelly-Ann Fraser, who won gold in the women's 100 meters, their secret, and she replied: "Reggae power." I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. about that, but if you visit the Web site of the Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association The Amateur Athletic Association of England (formerly simply the Amateur Athletic Association) or AAA (pronounced 'three As') is the oldest athletics organization in the UK, having been established in 1880. , you'll hear a song with these lyrics:
We've been running ever since we came here, many years ago. Now the whole world wanna wan·na
1. Contraction of want to: You wanna go now?
2. Contraction of want a: You wanna slice of pie? know how we running so. They say there must be something in the air, down there in Jamaica, that Jamaicans run like the wind.
Right about now, some of you are thinking they're fueled by something else.
You should know that during the Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA WADA World Anti-Doping Agency
wada Weighted Average Daily Attendance (school systems)
WADA World Autoduel Association
WADA Washington Area Darts Association
WADA Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association ) apparently paid close attention to the Jamaicans, whose independent testing organization is fledgling, and might not be all that independent.
Several of the sprinters complained they were tested multiple times, and Dr. Herb Elliott Herbert ("Herb") James Elliott AC MBE (born February 25, 1938) is a former Australian athlete, one of the world's greatest middle distance runners. He never lost a race over 1500 metres or the mile and during his career he broke the four-minute mile on 17 occasions. , vice president of the Jamaican Track Federation, invited further testing anytime, anywhere.
So far, they've all come out clean. What's clear is America's sprinting dominance has ended, and this Jamaican surge feels similar to what happened 30 years ago with east African Adj. 1. East African - of or relating to or located in East Africa distance runners.
"All I can say is, `Yo, Jamaican sprinters, taking over the world,'e_SEnS" Bolt said.
Last Thursday, before the women's 200 meters, I sat two rows in front of Bert Cameron Bert Cameron (born November 16, 1959 in Spanish Town) is a retired Jamaican sprinter who mainly competed over 400 metres. He won the inaugural World Championships in 1983, and had a good run in the 1984 Olympic semi-final, but picked up an injury and did not make the final. , the former Jamaican 400-meters runner. Bolt already had won the 100 and the 200, and the Jamaicans had swept the women's 100.
"I do not like this race," he said.
A moment later, Veronica Campbell-Brown won gold and Kerron Stewart, another Jamaican, grabbed bronze. Someone asked, "Do you like it better now?"
Cameron smiled, nodded: "Yes!"
And a conversation began about the nation's sprinting success.
"It's not like it's something that started yesterday," Cameron said, and he listed the long tradition. Don Quarrie, Herb McKenley, Lennox Miller.
More recently, Ben Johnson (Canada), Linford Christie (Great Britain) and Donovan Bailey (Canada), who won gold in 1988, '92 and '96, respectively, were from Jamaica.
Also a tradition, though, was the guys in green and yellow taking silver. That is, until the last few days.
"You ask if we expected this," Cameron said. "We expect more."
About that time, Bolt was awarded the gold medal for the 200 meters he'd won a night earlier, and they played the Jamaican national anthem.
"Everybody should know it by now," Cameron said.
By Saturday night, I knew more than the first few bars.
George Schroeder can be reached at email@example.com. His regularly updated blog is at rgweb-c.registerguard.com/blogs/index.php/georges