Changing China

Giant on the move

McYam meals fuel fastest man

August 17, 2008

Bolt posesYesterday I took a mean swipe at sports journalists for the vacuous questions they put to athletes. I must tip my baseball cap today, however, to the reporter who asked Usain Bolt how the fastest man in the world had spent his day.

It seems the Jamaican did a lot of time sleeping, and in between feasted on “nuggets”.

It took Bolt senior, speaking from Jamaica, to put the record straight — and perhaps deter millions of adoring young athletes from a lifetime of fast food. His son’s gold medal, Wellesley Bolt said, was the result of a diet rich with the vegetable yam.

I can see it now: the McYam Happy Meal.
Maybe there is something special in root vegetables like yam. The secret of Samoan weighlifter Ele Opeloge’s strength, according to her coach, is a variety known as taro.
No doubt the majority of other Olympians in Beijing are eating an exemplary diet packed with fruit, vegetables, tasty tubers and other unprocessed food. Still, the McDonald’s restaurant at the athletes’ village has been doing brisk trade.

Take Jay Lyon, Canada’s best hope for an archery medal, who admits he is probably not the archetypal Olympian.

“I’m not much of an athlete — I eat a lot of McDonalds,” he said ahead of the Games. “I’m probably overweight for an athlete.” Lyon weighs 96 kilograms (212 pounds).

Lyon only has to stand behind a line and shoot some arrows, so “probably overweight” is probably okay.

But what about the athletes who have to break a sweat for their medals? No problem. Just ask U.S. sprint and long jump gold medallist Carl Lewis, who had this to say at a McDonald’s burger-making contest in Beijing: “I eat McDonald’s. I’ve always eaten McDonald’s. I even worked at McDonald’s. It was my first job.”

PHOTO: Usain Bolt of Jamaica poses with his gold medal during the men’s 100m medal ceremony of the athletics competition in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay


One Love Bredren!!!! Represent!!!

Posted by Patricia | Report as abusive

I wish Mr Bolt had tried to set an even higher record,by running the 100 flat out until the end . His antics were not becoming a true champion,in fact they may have been insulting ?

Posted by Fl John | Report as abusive

He might be a winner, but he isn’t a champion. What happened to congratulating the other competitors. His celebrations, if you can call it that, was actually quite sad. It left a bad taste in the mouth. The spirit of the Olympics is a little bit lost on him.

Posted by Karel | Report as abusive

….Just back-off F.I. John!!! Usain was simply celebrating his historic victory. To suggest this was insulting is casting nothing but negativity on what was truly an amazing and positive moment in time. Your prejudice was very evident in your words. Usain was smart enough to leave plenty room open to break his own record in time to come. His journey greatness has only just begun. Get with the program and stop criticizing!!!

Very proud Jamaican.

Posted by Lee Kay | Report as abusive

From one Jamaican to another, congratulations to Usain Bolt. Elated as I am over the victory, I think it was unbecoming of a champion to stop running at the 80m mark thereabouts, to do unnecessary antics. This to me was less than becoming and could be seen as an insult to other athletes. He might have set a better record by sprinting to the end. Finally, congratulations to Asafa Powell and Michael Frater as well. ’twas Frater’s first sub 10 seconds. Well done boys.

Posted by Ahmed Kemal | Report as abusive

Usain’s run was extremely impressive. But I also believe it was in bad taste to “showboat” towards the end of the race – now that I think about it, and in the beginning too. I guess I am prejudice too towards athletes who don’t show good sportsmanship. To suggest that in the last 2 seconds of the race he pulled up because he wanted to reserve for another time is a little ridiculous. He is only 21 and hasn’t matured I guess and asking athletes to act like LeBron is asking a lot.

Major congrats goes out to the Women’s Jamaican team. Now that was impressive – 1,2 and 3 with class and modesty.

Posted by mados123 | Report as abusive

OK Mados, I’ll agree that Usain was not contemplating future record breaking runs as a reason why he powered down in the last 15-20 meters. However, this was only to his own detrement as he only denied himself of a more impressive world record. I fail to see how this in anyway was in “bad taste”, unsportsmanlike, “unbecoming” or even that “the spirit of the olympics is lost on him”.
Let me ask you this…..let’s take boxing for example….do you think the champion should profit an advantage to knock his opponent completely senseless and unconscious or should he just punch him enough to get him down a few times?…….would his “holding back” be described as any of those mentioned above?…….I doubt it. What say you?

Posted by Lee Kay | Report as abusive

I can understand if he didn’t think he would win and only after he couldn’t see the others out of the corners of his eyes, turned around and realizing where they were had momentary lapse in concentration.

It happens, you are so caught up with looking where the others are that you forgot where you are for a moment. He obviously hasn’t been a sprinter for very long. He’ll learn if he sticks to it.

Posted by lydia | Report as abusive

Let’s just accept that the guy won and for those who can’t accept it,I kinda feel sorry for you guys.To “Lightning” Usain Bolt: “Your the best there is,the best there was and the best there ever will be”. I salute you!

Posted by Zalo | Report as abusive

Yes, Yams and Taros are very special – more affordable than other alternatives.

And BTW, athletes are humans. They just happen to like and good at sports. They have the same human weakness as you and I. Won’t you gloat a bit when you win too, especially by a sizable margin ? To expect them to see all the consequences of their action in the milliseconds after the race is absurd. They young man deserves at least 15 minutes of insanity.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

@Lee Kay: Sorry bout the late response and this is an interesting point. Sportsmanship, I guess, can be argued to be subjective. Taunting, trash talking, etc. is appreciated by some as entertainment – usually by those who prefer the “machismo” attitude. Mohammed Ali was a master at this. Personally I prefer the one who lets their skills do the talking and let others judge. Grant it, not as entertaining but I think says more about the individual’s character and maturity (and not everyone appreciates maturity).
Sorry but I’m not sure I follow your logic regarding the boxing example. With sprinting/running, there is a clearly defined start and finish to the race and the point is to get done as soon as possible. With boxing, the preferred outcome *is* to knockout the other guy so to do elsewise and prolong the fight on purpose, would be just weird. I would hope that both the boxer (Champion or not) and his opponent are similar in skills (and size) and the referee gets involved to avoid any potential long term damage.
Anyways, one thing we can agree on is that we both look forward to Usain’s future races (as well as the other Jamaican runners)! Peace.

Posted by mados123 | Report as abusive

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