December 25, 2012
To read last week’s Weekly Recap, click here.
We figure over the Christmas holiday you’ll have a lot of free time, so we’ve given you a lot of reading. This week we spend a lot of time wondering, if Mo Farah’s double win really was “by far the greatest Olympic distance double” as Alberto Salazar claimed? We also compare Suzy Favor Hamilton to Galen Rupp, give you great coaching insight from Dan Pfaff and Alberto Salazar, wonder if this was the greatest year ever in the men’s 800, try to figure out who had the better year in the marathon – the Kenyans or Ethiopians – and remind you to yawn before your next race. Plus Usain Bolt’s ex-girlfriend kisses and tells and why the best thing about altitude training may have nothing to do with altitude.
Before We Get Started, Remember It’s The Time Of Year To Be Thankful
Toby Tanser Is Amazing: Shoe4Africa To Build A Multi-Million Shilling Public Children Hospital In Eldoret The charity will break ground on the hospital on New Year’s eve. The hospital will be only the 2nd children’s hospital in all of sub-Saharan Africa. Natalie Portman and Cristiano Ronaldo have donated – have you? *Donate Here
*2:18 Marathoner Mike Cassidy Helped Raise $6,500
*Tanser Blogs About A Day In His Hectic Life
Stat Of The Week (Sex Sells)
We don’t have a lot to say about the Suzy Favor Hamilton story from last week other than it’s very sad and it’s clear she’s someone has struggled with mental issues for awhile.
Other than that, the people who criticized us for devoting too much space to the story last week simply don’t get it. Her story is the story of the year in terms of publicity for US track and field.
Don’t believe us? Well, here is our Stat Of The Week.
1176 – Number of words in a New York Times story dedicated to the Suzy Favor Hamilton escort story the day after the story broke.
266 – Number of words in a New York Times story dedicated to Galen Rupp winning the silver medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics, when he became the first American in 48 years to medal in the event.
Letters Of The Week
Lots of Suzy Favor Hamilton jokes started popping up last week as the story even was mentioned on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
While we certainly aren’t real comfortable with making jokes about a story with such a huge impact on the mother of a seven-year-old daughter, we will say one thing we know for sure. Many have speculated the Hamilton escort escapades will result in a future book deal. If that’s true, the title has to use some version of one of the following two designs.
|Suzy Favor Hamilton|
e o i
x r r
|Sex For Hire|
u a a
z v m
y o i
Video Of The Week
Given the sultry nature of our opening, we thought now was a good time for a little repentance and our video of the week.
Last week we got an email from the people behind the new film on distance running that is coming out in 2013 – Transcend – a film which features many of the best of the world’s distance runners.
They have finished their trailer for the film and we loved it. We hope you enjoy it below. If you aren’t a person of faith, you might not like the film as a large part of it is about the role faith plays in many runners’ lives:
Really? Alberto Says Mo Farah’s Distance Double Is Best In History “By Far”
Last week, Alberto Salazar raised some eyebrows by saying that Mo Farah‘s distance double was the greatest Olympic distance double “by far.”
Upon first hearing of Salazar’s comments, many people’s instinctive reaction (including our own) was, “Are you kidding me?”
Before we analyze the validity or lack thereof of Salazar’s statement, we think it’s important to figure out exactly what did he say, as various people on the message board are reading different articles which include different quotes. Few people have bothered to listen to the great 68-minute BBC program with Alberto Salazar, Dan Pfaff and Jesssica Ennis‘ coach Tony Minichiello which is a great listen (right click on link & “save target as / link as”) and where the quote came from. But we did, and here is exactly what Alberto said about Mo’s double”:
Question (roughly 6:45 in) : As somebody who has spent a lifetime in distance running, how do you sum up the magnitude of that feat, winning 5 and 10,000 meters in a way that no body had ever come close to from Britain before.
Answer from Salazar: I would say that he did it against better competition than has even been done before. I mean there is clearly no doubt – I know Viren did it twice and I know others did it before that – Zatopek and so forth. Distance running now is more competitive by far than it ever has been before. It’s a much harder thing to medal in distance running now than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Why because there are so many more East Africans – so many talented runners. Now in a 25 person field, you’ve got probably 22 – 20 (who are) amongst the best in the world and a lot of them are Kenyan/Ethiopians running for different countries. It’s just so much harder now. So for Mo to beat the very best in the world, twice. He’s not just not repeating or matching what others did that double – the other two of three guys who did it – he’s surpassing them by far in doing this.
So now we know exactly what he said, let’s analyze it.
In Salazar’s defense, it needs to be pointed out that his argument is simple. Distance running is deeper than ever, it’s a global full-time professional sport, which really was never the case for most of Olympic history and thus it goes without saying, in Salazar’s mind, that a double done now is better than any ever before.
While many people who disagreed with Salazar on the message board thought this year’s competition for Farah was soft, Salazar certainly has some stats in his favor.
We did a little research and think many fans will be surprised by the following:
|# Of Sub-12:50 Performers In A Given Year|
Five of those six guys from 2012 were in the 5,000 final at the Olympics.
Those are the facts. People can make excuses – yes, the guy who was most likely to beat him, Dejen Gebremeskel ran a stupid, stupid race and got boxed in and the second most likely to beat him, Hagos Gebrhiwet, was injured – but it was still a very high-quality field.
So Salazar has some stats and logic backing him up. Those detractors who viewed the competition that Farah faced as being soft are incorrect. The 5,000 competition wasn’t soft – the race was just run in an incredibly disappointing/stupid fashion.
So if the competition was so tough, then why did so many people view Salazar’s statement as a bit ridiculous and view Farah’s competition as soft?
We think the answer is simple. While Salazar was talking specifically about Olympic doubles and Haile Gebrselassie never did the double and Kenenisa Bekele only did it once, in 2008, Salazar’s statement seemingly meant to many that Farah is the greatest Olympic distance champion in history and many simply aren’t buying that argument for the following reasons.
1) Many people think, “How can he be the greatest distance champion in history when many think he wouldn’t have won any of previous 4 Olympic 10,000s?”
How many people really think Farah would have beaten Geb in his prime in 1996 or 2000? Or Bekele in 2004 or 2008? Not us. Mo’s closing kick is very good but we don’t think he’s as good as Geb or Bekele in their primes (on a side note, we’ll admit that even if he was as good as those two, it’s hard for people to logically fathom that a guy who couldn’t even make the Olympic final 4 years ago is now the greatest Olympic distance champion ever).
Yes, in only one of those four Olympics was the 5/10 double done, but the headline rubbed many people the wrong way as it seemingly discounts how great both Haile G and Bekele were.
2) Farah didn’t beat any “big names” in the battle for gold.
Four years ago, Kenenisa Bekele also did the 10,000/5,000 double. To us, arguing about the minutia of the relative field strengths is a bit ridiculous as both years had good fields. Nothing drastically changed in the span of 4 years as shown by the following chart.
|2008 Olympic 10,000 Won By Bekele In 27:01.17|
|2||Sileshi Sihine||27:02.8||25 years old||Already won 5 world/Olympic championship silver in in XC or track – 12:47/26:39 guy|
|3||Micah Kogo||27:04.1||22 years old||13:00/26:35 performer|
|4||Moses Masai||27:04.1||22 years old||12:50/26:49 guy would get bronze next year|
|5||Zersenay Tadese||27:05.1||26 years old||2004 Olympic bronze medallist had won half (3) of his 6 global road/XC titles – 12:59/26:27 PRs|
|6||Haile Gebrselassie||27:06.7||35 years old||Geb was way past his track prime but he did run 26:51 in 2008 and check out his marathon times – 2:04:53 and 2:03:59|
|2012 Olympic 10,000 Won By Farah in 27:30.42|
|2||Galen Rupp||27:30.9||26 years old||12:58/26:48 guy|
|3||Tariku Bekele||27:31.4||25 years old||12:52/27:03 guy|
|4||Kenenisa Bekele||27:32.4||30 years old||Sort of the equivalent of Geb in 2008 – Did run 12:55/27:02 this year|
|5||Bidan Karoki||27:32.9||21 years old||13:15/27:05|
|6||Zersenay Tadese||27:33.5||30 years old||Was 5th 4 years ago and 6th this time – Did win World half later in year|
|2008 Olympic 5,000 Won By Bekele In 12:57.82|
|2||Eliud Kipchoge||13:02.8||23 years old||2003 world champ also had won medals in 2004 and 2007 – 12:46/26:49|
|3||Edwin Soi||13:06.2||22 years old||12:52 PR from 2006|
|4||Moses Kipsiro||27:04.1||21 years old||12:50/27:04 PRs at time|
|5||Abreham Cherkos||27:05.1||18 years old||12:54 PR from 2006|
|6||Tariku Bekele||27:06.7||25 years old||12:52/27:03 guy|
|2012 Olympic 5,000 Won By Farah In 13:41.66|
|2||Dejen Gebremeskel||13:42.0||22 years old||2011 bronze medallist had run 12:46 in July|
|3||Thomas Longosiwa||13:42.4||30 years old||Didn’t medal in 2008 but ran 12:49 in July of this year|
|4||Bernard Lagat||13:43.0||37 years old||Had run 12:53 in 2011, but hadn’t been able to medal at age 33 in 2008|
|5||Isiah Koech||13:43.8||18 years old||Ran 12:49 earlier this year|
|6||Abdelaati Iguider||13:44.2||25 years old||3:31 1,500 runner|
What makes Bekele’s wins a bit more impressive in many’s eyes in terms of field strength is the fact that the runner-ups to him in both the 5,000 and 10,000 were already an established “big names” with lots of medals to their names.
Times are one thing, but much of the sporting public relates to “rings” – or, in the case of track and field, medals. When Eli Manning vanquishes a legend like Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, that generates far more respect than say when Tom Brady beats Jake Delhomme. It works the same way in track and field.
In the 10,000 in 2008, Bekele beat one of more credentialed runners of recent years in Sileshi Sihine, who had already won 5 Olympics/World Championships silvers before the 2008 Games, and in the 5,000 he beat a former world champion in Eliud Kipchoge. As for Farah, he beat a previous non-medallist in Galen Rupp and a previous bronze medallist in terms of Dejen Gebremeskel (we think in future years when it’s likely that Gebremeskel has a ton of golds to his name, people may give Mo a bit more credit). Additionally, Bekele beat a 4-years-younger version of Tadese and Lagat as well.
But just because the general public hasn’t heard of a particular runner doesn’t mean they aren’t a total stud. Farah beat some very, very good people.
3) The more we analyze this the more we wonder, “Did Alberto Salazar simply just forget about the 2008 double of Kenenisa Bekele when he set Olympic records in both the 5000 and 10000, set the Olympic records in both races and totally destroyed the fields?”
Seemingly so. We don’t think how anyone could think what Mo did this year surpassed “by far” what Bekele did in 2008. No, what Bekele did in 2008 was clearly more impressive than what Farah accomplished in 2012. There is no doubt about it.
In 2008, Bekele beat a guy who was already at the time a 5-time Olympic/Worlds silver medallist by 1.6 seconds in the 10k and then came back and ran what we said at the time was the greatest 5k ever run. Largely from the front, Bekele a 12:57.52 5,000 which gave him an unreal 4.98-second margin of victory thanks to a sub-4 last mile (3:57.01 last 1,600) and 2:25.30 last 1k and 53.87 last lap. He beat the best runners in the world in a 5k by nearly 5 seconds with no rabbits. That’s ridiculous and clearly the end of the greatest Olympic double in history. End of story, game over. It’s not like the level of competition was much different in the span of 4 years, but both the margin of victory in both races was much larger and the way the victories were achieved was more impressive as well.
And you know who even agrees with us?
Yes, that’s right.
Salazar either realized the error of his initial statement or maybe he simply forgot to mention Bekele’s 2008 double on the BBC show (or maybe the BBC edited out any mention of Bekele), as as a few days after the BBC show aired, another quote appeared from Salazar in The Telegraph:
“Other than Bekele [who won double gold in Beijing in 2008], I think Mo’s achievement was greater than any other distance runner at an Olympics.”
So there you have it. The big controversy of the last week has been solved.
More: MB: Salazar: Mo Farah’s double gold at London 2012 was the greatest distance running achievement in history
*Salazar: Mo Farah Completed Toughest Olympic Double In History
BBC: Salazar Compares Mo To Other Double Olympic Champs – “He’s surpassed them by far.”
Quotes Of The Week That Weren’t Quote Of The Day
The BBC show with Salazar, Pfaff and Minichiello was fantastic. We listened to all 68 minutes of it. We know most of you don’t have time to do it but if you are a college or pro coach, you definitely should (right click on link & “save target as / link as”). For the rest, we’ll save you a ton of time and share with you four of our favorite quotes from the show. The First 4 of our 8 Quotes of the Week That Weren’t Quote of The Day all come from the show:
#1 – Alberto Salazar And Dan Pfaff On The Importance of Biomechanics In Track And Field
Alberto (Roughly 36:00 into interview): “I would say the number one thing that we look at is proper bio mechanics. It’s amazing to me that any coaches of athletes up to the 800 meters will swear to you about the importance of biomechanics – that you have to run bio-mechanically correct. But yet, most distance coaches it will tell you it’s not at all important once you get over 800 meters – that it’s doesn’t matter at all – you just have to log the miles. To me, that’s just not rational. It makes no sense whatsoever. In every sport, we talk and know there is a certain way to kick the ball, to hit a baseball. If you don’t have good biomechanics, ultimately it will lead to injuries …
If you look at the London 10k final, the four guys that finished 1-2-3-4, I would argue those guys had the best biomechanics of the race. Mo, Galen, the older Bekele brother and the younger Bekele brother – they all have great biomechanics and they beat all of the Kenyans who don’t have great biomechanics.”
Pfaff: For me the foundation of all coaching in any sport is – Is it economical, is it efficient, is it preventing injuries? If you have a footballer that is out 8 weeks with a grade two hamstring tear, I’m like that doesn’t have to be – why did it tear? In Formula One, every time the car goes around the track, they bring it in for a pit stop to check things – I just think these guys are Formula One cars.
#2 –Dan Pfaff On How Athletes Are Narcissistic And Want To Feel Special
Pfaff (we forgot to write down where this appears in podcast): I think I’ve been blessed to coach 40 years and coach a lot of really good people in a wide arrange of events. I think I’ve built a CV that says, “This guy can’t be too stupid.” That being said, I think no matter what level I get to or whom I’m coaching, I think I’ve got to prove I’m doing things right for them, because athletes are very narcissistic and they want to feel they are special and, “I’m unique and you don’t understand my issues or my problems,” so every day I have to do the empathy compassion thing – climb inside their body and mind and say “Why are they acting this way or behaving this way?”
#3 – Dan Pfaff On How He’s Never Satisfied As A Coach – Even When They Set A World Record And Win An Olympic Gold Medal
Pfaff (roughly 49:00 into the podcast): Donovan had to be very safe driving from the blocks in Atlanta so his first six steps were terrible and his next six steps he was just trying to feel things out to make sure his leg wasn’t going to explode and then from 50 to 70 he did some really good things but then after 70, he did some really stupid things. So when we sat down and did the de-brief, he had to remind me, “You know I broke the world record and I won the gold,” but I was like, “Yeah but here were about 12 things you could have done a lot better.”
#4 – Alberto Salazar, Who Personally Thinks He Trained Harder Than Anyone Else In The World, On Why He Doesn’t Try To Have His Own Athletes Do That
Salazar (approximately 55-56 minutes into podcast): What my athletes and I believe is we train smarter than anyone else …
I realize now when we are going against so many talented athletes that the chances that you have out-trained everybody else in terms of volume and how hard you have pushed yourself are very slight, because when you are going against so many athletes, a lot of them out of just desperation will try to do incredible things – run 200 or 250 miles week. If we try to do that, statistically the chance that ay one person is going to survive that training regime and not get injured is very small. But when you have hundreds and thousands of them trying that, the few that survive are going to beat us. If they are doing 200 or 250 miles per week, and Mo Farah can only run 125 per week (which is all Alberto thinks he can handle), how is Mo going to match that one guy that does 200 per week and survives? We can’t unless everything we do is done so much better.
Now we can realistically have a good chance of beating that guy. He may do more than us, but he doesn’t do it as smart as us. He doesn’t have as good bio-mechanics or overall muscular strength – that’s how we bridge that gap.
#5 – 2004 World Cross-Country Champion Benita Willis On How The Greatest Benefit From Altitude Training Has Nothing To Do With Altitude
“The benefits physiologically of training at altitude are a bonus on top of everything else I believe. The main benefit in my opinion is that it enables you to do your training properly and include all the 1%ers every day. Not missing your core because you had to go out, or this afternoon run because your friends came over and you decided to drink and watch the cricket on TV instead.”
– The quote comes from Willis’ journal on Runner’s Tribe.
#6 – British Office Worker (And Part-Time Model Of Some Sort To Be Fair), Who Dated Usain Bolt For A Few Months, Reveals The True Usain Bolt
“I thought he was quiet, very handsome and unassuming. I wasn’t star-struck and maybe he liked that. …
He was really sweet to talk to, nothing like the shouty show-off you see when he wins a race …
He is a very funny character and made me laugh a lot.”
– 22-year-old Megan Edwards (pictured with Usain), who met Bolt when she was modeling the Jamaica team kit at a press conference, and then dated him for a few months but broke it off as she’s just a normal worker who doesn’t have time to date a global superstar long-distance.
#7 – The NY Times On Why A Study Saying Too Much Running Will Kill You Led To So Much Glee In Non-Running World
“A lot of people use their athleticism in an attempt to show they are a superior human being” and so when “runners use their prowess, real or exaggerated, to suggest superiority, they generate resentment” and so “people love to find studies that support the bias that too much exercise is bad.”
#8 Seb Coe Has Some High Hopes For Brit Andrew Osagie
“I think his progress has been fantastic. If you said to Andrew Osagie at the beginning of the season you are going to run 1:43.8 in the final of the Olympic Games I think he would have taken that … I really hope that Andrew Osagie believes he can beat David Rudisha.”
– Coe from a Sky Sports article. All we can say is 1:43.8 is 2.9 seconds away from 1:40.9 and that’s a lot.
2012 – The Greatest Year Ever In The Men’s 800???
Our research into comparing the 2008 versus 2012 5ks and 10ks got us to thinking about other Olympic events this year. Given Coe’s quote, it was hard not to think about the men’s 800 as after all it was an incredible year in the event, as last place in the Olympic final was 1:43.8.
But was it the greatest year ever in terms of depth of the men’s 800?
Here’s what our research reveals:
|Number Of Sub 1:43 Performers In A Given Year|
2012 Marathoning Examined – Who Dominated – Ethiopia Or Kenya?
Toni Reavis had a nice tongue in cheek piece this week where he said maybe the marathon should be moved to ‘Demonstration Sport” status at the Olympics as it’s dominated by runners from just two countries – Kenya and Ethiopia – and the medals are supposed to go to truly global sports.
While reading that piece, we starting thinking about the marathon a bit. 2011 was the year of the Kenyan marathoners on the men’s side as Kenyans set CRs at all of the majors and won the world championship as well.
As for the theme for 2012, well that’s what we found to be interesting. Remember, at the Olympics, lots of talk was devoted to the fact that all three Ethiopian men were DNFs at the Games.
Because of that, many may have forgotten or never realized that the first part of the year belonged to the Ethiopian men – at least in terms of time. And the year-end results show that still to be the case. Despite going 0 for 3 at the Olympics in terms of even finishing, Ethiopia produced 7 of the 10 fastest men’s times in 2012:
2012 Top Ten Marathon Times – Men
|4||2:04:38||Tsegaye Kebede||ETH||Chicago IL||7-Oct|
|9||2:04:52||Feyisa Lelisa||ETH||Chicago IL||7-Oct|
Going farther down, there was actually an 11th guy who broke 2:05 this year – Kenya’s Jonathan Maiyo at 2:04:56. We just felt bad leaving a 2:04 guy out of our list.
Where did America’s fastest marathoner for 2012, Dathan Ritzenhein, rank at 2:07:47?
As for the women … well, the top 10 were split evenly between Kenya and Ethiopia – five to five.
2012 Top Ten Marathon Times – Women
American Shalane Flanagan‘s 2:25:38 puts her at #53 on the 2012 list.
Of course, given the global depth of distance running, there is no shame in not making the top 20 in your particular event.
Guess where 2012 Olympic 1,500 silver medallist Leo Manzano ranked in the 1,500 in terms of time in 2012 at 3:34.08?
Weekly Free Coaching Advice – Try Yawning Before Your Next Big Race
While coaching at Cornell University, LetsRun.com co-founder Robert Johnson used to always think it was a good sign if he saw one of his athletes yawn before a race.
Occasionally, he’d see other coaches berating their athletes who were yawning for not being ready or being focused, and he’d just chuckle.
From his own experience, he knew the yawn was a good sign. He didn’t know why, but he just knew he used to often yawn before big races and saw many truly elite runners do so as well. Well researchers now understand why many yawn before a big performance and they think they know why it helps one’s performance.. Here is why as explained in an article on competitor.com:
Experts suggest that yawning may actually provide a competitive advantage, as it stimulates the precuneus, a structure in the brain that affects consciousness and attentional focus.
Yawning also regulates the temperature and metabolism of the brain. By cooling down the frontal lobes, they are thought to work more effectively and, in turn, allow for greater concentration.
“It takes a lot of neural energy to stay consciously alert,” explained Andrew Newberg, M.D., director of research at the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
“Yawning probably evolved as a way to cool down the overly active mammalian brain.”
That’s a pretty scientific answer for you. If that’s too complex, thankfully some of the scientists who know why yawning works simplified things later in the article.
“Through the benefits of cerebral cooling, yawning may provide an increase in attention and focus immediately prior to races,” said Andrew Gallup, Ph.D., a researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University.
Newberg agrees. “Yawning at the beginning of a race can get you in a quick state of relaxed alertness, ready to perform.”
Other News Of Note From Last Week
Stop Complaining: NYC Marathon Announced Cancellation Policy And You Can Get A Refund Get a refund or pay again for next year and run next year (while paying for this year as well).
On The Boards: NYC Marathon Resolution
*WSJ: NYRR Reach Multi-Million Dollar Settlment With Insurance Company After Cancellation Of NYC Marathon
Govt. Increase Athletics’ Funding In Uk From £25.15m To £26.8m Swimming was the big loser as they lost £4.0m down to £21.4m over 4 years. Equestrian was the big winner with a huge increase of more than £4.5m. All we can say is imagine the outrage in America if the US govt. spent $29.9 million on equestrian.
*UK Sport To Spend $563 Million Over 4 Years To Help Britain Try To Become 1st Country To Bag More Medals At Next Olympics After Being The Host
World Junior 5,000 Record Holder Hagos Gebrhiwet & Berlin Marathon Champ Aberu Kebede Were The Winners At Yesterday’s Great Ethiopian Run 10k Gebrhiwet ran 28:37 and Kebede 33:27 in the race founded by Haile Gebrselassie back in 2001.
Listen Here: BBC Interviews US “Super Coaches” Dan Pfaff & Alberto Salazar For 2 Hours LRC has always said John Kellogg and Pfaff are the only two people we know who are geniuses when it comes to track and field. We think Salazar’s quotes come from this piece.
Recommended Click/Listen: Highlights Of Ato Boldon’s House Of Run Podcast – Boldon Thinks Bolt Would Have Easier Time In 400 Than In 100 And Would Consistently Run 43s In 400 Listening to Boldon talk about sprinting is almost like listening to Einstein talk about physics. And now you can pick what you want to listen to as they have excerpted out his comments on various topics.
*After Missing Out On Olympics, Delilah D. Says: “I’m closing the door on the steeple but I’m not locking it.” She’s trying to explore longer distances and have fun with running before deciding if she wants to put off having a family for another 4 years.
*Brett Larner Explains “How I Learned To Love The Ekiden And Why You Should Too”
*LRC Meb Keflezighi Talks About Getting His Start In Running, The Mental/Physical Breakdown Of The Sport Meb: “I really believe during preparation it’s 90% physical, 10% mental. When the gun goes off it’s 90% mental and 10% being healthy.”
*LRC Runners Recover Better And Hopefully Stay Injury Free With These Two Products From The 2012 Running Event Wejo talks about some of the injury prevention products he saw at the The Running Event, which include better methods for massage, icing, and compression.
Quotes Of The Day From The Week & Last Week’s Homepages:
Note: To see a particular day’s homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date on the left. The quote’s hyperlink will take you to that particular article – not that day’s homepage.
Response: “Just wait … one day … you’ll see.”
– Exchange between US 5,000m Olympian Kim Conley and the UC Davis sports psychologist Paul Salitsk when he asked her to sign a poster after she graduated in 2009. This was her first-ever autograph, back when her PR (16:17) was almost a minute slower than the 15:20 Olympic “A” standard.
Sunday 12/23: “I would turn up, buzz the door and one of his assistants would come and let me in. We’d chill out and watch television or I’d watch him play computer games. He really liked Call of Duty, which is not really my scene but I have younger brothers who play it. The first time I went around there I was pretty nervous. I thought ‘This is Usain Bolt, for God’s sake, the guy probably has girls throwing themselves at him left, right and centre, and he’s with me.'”
“I wanted to go on a proper date but he was worried he’d get swamped by fans. He can’t even sit in a restaurant without being asked for his autograph. … I did occasionally think about being Mrs. Bolt and living in Jamaica with lots of little Bolts. My feelings were pretty strong for him, strong enough that I wanted to go to Jamaica … I really liked him, but I only have a set amount of holiday that I can use each year and I’m not going to use it all up going to see Usain Bolt in Jamaica.”
– British office worker and sprinter Megan Edwards, talking about what it was like to date Usain Bolt. She has broken the relationship off now, though, citing the difficulties of long distance.
Saturday 12/22: “I have tried to make the case numerous time, here and elsewhere, that people who perform at the extremes in any area of endeavor have commensurate extreme needs. No one makes the Olympic finals, the Super Bowl, World Series, Carnegie Hall, the U.S. Congress, or the Louvre that does not suffer from some form of clinical neurosis and/or psychosis. The only difference is the form taken, and how it is manifested. There are no boy scouts or girl scouts on the podium and pedestal of extreme excellence.“
– Brooks Johnson, former USATF coach of the year, in an excellent piece on Suzy Favor Hamilton that gives some insight into her tremendous need for validation from others. And for the record LRC doesn’t agree that every highly successful person has a clinical psychosis.
Friday 12/21: “I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I’m not the victim and I’m not going that route. I’m owning up to what I did. I would not blame anybody except myself. Everybody in this world makes mistakes. I made a huge mistake. Huge.”
– 3-time Olympian and 9-time NCAA champion (the most ever), Suzy Favor Hamilton, talking to The Smoking Gun about how she has been working as a $600 an hour ($6,000 per day) call girl since last December.
Thursday 12/20: “If you have a doping offense or you test positive, it goes without saying you are fired from all of your contracts … It would all would go away. And the faith of all the cancer survivors – everything I do off of the bike would go away too. And don’t think for a second, I don’t understand that. It’s not about money for me. It’s about also about the faith people have put in me over the years. All of that would be erased so I don’t need it to say in a contract that you’re fired if you test positive. That’s not as important as losing the support of hundreds of millions of people.”
– Lance Armstrong, lying under oath back in 2006, when he shamelessly used his cancer fight to make it seem like he had to be clean.
– Alberto Salazar, not holding back with the BBC as to how he views what his athlete, Mo Farah, accomplished at the Olympics. Was Farah’s double “the greatest accomplishment in history” as one paper says Salazar claimed? Discuss in our forum.
– Tweet about Jessica Ennis‘ butt as to how it compares to Kate Middleton‘s at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year gala. The press wasn’t all positive for Ennis, however, as some have accused her of snubbing the Duchess.