One week before his 30th birthday, Usain Bolt became the first athlete to win three Olympic 100-meter titles, running a 9.81 on Sunday to edge U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin, who finished second with a 9.89.
Bolt ran a 9.69 in Beijing in 2008 and an Olympic-record 9.63 in London in 2012. Bolt was by no means a lock to win gold in Rio, but that’s exactly what he did.
“It’s remarkable,” USA Today sportswriter and broadcaster Martin Rogers said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It’s a superb experience, and Bolt has more charisma than any other athlete that I’ve ever covered and ever experienced. I think he’s a true gem of this generation. I don’t think there’s another sportsman like him in any field or any sport that we love watching. It’s a special thing. I saw his three golds in Beijing in 2008, I saw two of the three in 2012, and I cherish it. I feel that it’s one of those moments that I’ll look back on in 30 years time and be so, so glad that I was there – and not just got to watch him, but got to write about him.”
Rogers brought his family to Rio to see the Games – and especially to see Bolt.
“I made sure that I got my 8-year-old son tickets to see Bolt run in the individual for the last time for the 200 meters,” Rogers said. “It means that much. I really feel that there’s so much wrong with sports these days on so many levels, and Bolt is a great example of what’s right with sports. He wins and he’s confident that he does it in the right way.”
Rogers loves Bolt’s confident and congenial nature. Heck, the 6-5 Jamaican often laughs and jokes before races.
It’s all part of the Bolt experience.
“Even the other runners (don’t seem) to mind the absolute infectious personality,” Rogers said. “People can sense that it’s genuine. I think that’s what people like in an era where there’s a lot of things about sports that isn’t genuine.”