I bet on Donovan Bailey in that race. The payoff was more than 2/1. I think I had +225 or something like that.
As always I'll take the lead with an elite talent and force you to run me down. Conventional wisdom is comically screwed up in that regard. For example, the so-called dream horse races invariably have Secretariat looping the field in the stretch as if they are stiff speed horses collapsing on cue. I can never stop laughing, or mocking the people who actually believe that crap. Secretariat was more than capable of winning that race on talent but no chance he could do it with his preferred style. Stick the greatest speed horses of all time in a race like that and not all of them are going to stop. Just the opposite. At least one and probably several would put up the performance of their lives. Only the morons who believe in raw time alone and have no comprehension of situational factors would be stupid enough to think a deep closer could ever win that race.
Anyway, I was always suspicious of Michael Johnson's injury because a few of us in Las Vegas understood the possibility beforehand. We all wagered on Bailey due to the criteria I outlined above. I distinctly remember one guy in our group standing in the Bally's sportsbook and matter of factly saying Johnson will quit and start limping around if he senses he's finished. None of us laughed or dismissed the notion. This was several days before the race.
When pride and reputation are each so immense you can't stand to have the world remove the aura of invincibility. Preferable to attach an asterisk, even if unjust.
It's 20 years later but as soon as I saw Bolt pull up today I immediately thought of Michael Johnson. Didn't take 1 second before I thought of that and nothing else. Then I looked carefully at the replay to see if there was facial agony simultaneous to the leg stall. That's the key variable.
Yes, I have to say it was there. I'm not fully convinced ego wasn't the primary factor but there could have been a minor injury that Bolt played to the hilt.