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Jamaican Runner Gives a ‘Bolt’ to Summer Olympics

Ray Suarez speaks with sportswriter Christine Brennan about the athletic triumphs and disappointments of the Beijing Games, including Jamaican Usain Bolt's world record breaking track and field performances.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Christine, welcome back to the program.

    I guess these Olympics have a new breakout star in Usain Bolt?

  • CHRISTINE BRENNAN, USA Today:

    They do, Ray. You know, it's kind of funny, because when Michael Phelps stepped out of the pool Sunday morning here, Saturday night in the states, I never would have thought it'd be possible that another athlete, another individual could show up, and perform, and make us at least think he might be Michael Phelps' equal.

    And that is what Usain Bolt has done here in the men's 100 meters and then the men's 200 meters, winning both, and not only winning both, but also setting the world record in both, the first time any man has ever done that at the Olympic Games, not Jesse Owens, not Carl Lewis, but now Usain Bolt.

    And for a games that needed a jolt in the second week — no pun intended — there's the lightning bolt. It's a fantastic story, really, because he is so personable, controversial a little bit with his celebration.

    But it's riveting stuff. And it's just what these Olympics needed when Michael Phelps was gone to kind of give it a shot in the arm as we head towards the final few days.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Is Usain Bolt just the best-known name of a Jamaican Olympic team that's packed with stars?

  • CHRISTINE BRENNAN:

    Oh, my goodness. In fact, Jamaica is dominating the sprints, male and female runners, and the United States is really, unfortunately, the one that's kind of taking it on the chin in that sense, because the U.S. is known for its dominance in sprints at most Olympic Games. And in this case, the U.S. men and women are behind the Jamaican men and women.

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