Both have achieved what nobody else has ever done or could ever do.
WHO said legends are all to do with the past and nothing to do with the present? I don’t think it’s right. Look at two of the living legends in the world of sports, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. Both have accomplished what nobody else has ever done and, perhaps, nobody else could ever do.
It’s said sometimes legends find themselves remembered more for what they haven’t done than for their accomplishments. Those missing elements can, however, help drive them to achieve even greater things. Perhaps, it’s this sense of unfinished work that prompted Phelps to come out of retirement and write yet another glorious chapter in Olympic history, before calling it a day with a stunning tally of 23 gold medals.
I’m sure it’s the same desire that also guides Bolt to achieve immortality by winning three consecutive gold medals in 100, 200 and 4x100M relay. The Jamaican has already achieved the first and his form as well as determination point to a clean sweep of the other two before he hangs up his running shoes.
What makes this duo stand head and shoulders above their rivals?
If Phelps could still set the pool ablaze at 31, it’s only because of his hard work, dedication and passion. His coach Bob Bowman said we might never see the likes of Phelps again for a long time, may be not even once in 10 generations.
And 30-year-old Bolt’s saga too is no different. His coach Glen Mills said when he started working with him, one of the things that stood out like a sore thumb was his poor mechanics, but noted that the Jamaican’s determination to work hard on the areas hampering him turned him into a global star. Mills was also all praise for his ward’s positive attitude and willingness to learn.
It’s hard work, determination, sacrifice and an undying passion that led Phelps and Bolt to phenomenal success and unrivalled stardom. Bolt’s squeaky-clean image has also often saved athletics which, more than once, suffered severe body blows, following a series of high-profile doping scandals.
The Olympic arena will certainly miss Phelps and Bolt, but I’m sure they’ll live forever in the minds of sports lovers.