#DeBolt Bromance

on August 2016 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

There have been a number of fantastic stories to come out of the Rio Olympics and there may be a few more to unfold in the last couple of days as well. It was nice to see how we forgot about the troubles leading up to these Olympics (ok, except for that green water in the pool) and focused on the athletes and their performance. There is one tale however, unexpected as it was that I will forever remember the 2016 Olympics for. It wasn’t the amazing performance of Penny Oleksiak or any of the other Canadian gold medalists. It wasn’t the strong performance of the Canadian women for which I am running out of adjectives for. It wasn’t the coming of age of sprinter Andre De Grasse who was the second youngest to medal in the 100m in the last 50 years and picked up silver in the 200m. Finally, it won’t even be for what seems to be the swan song of undoubtedly the two greatest Olympians of all time in Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. The one image that will stay with me is that of the budding bromance between Usain Bolt (he always comes first) and the heir apparent, Andre de Grasse.

Watching the two of them as they raced through the 100m and 200m races seemed awkward at first because you rarely, if ever see that kind of relationship between two combatants. Regardless of their smiles and friendly banter, they each knew they were there to compete as hard as they could. The most touching, and yes, I did choose that word carefully, the most touching moment came at the end of the 200m semi-final when Bolt started easing up until he realized De Grasse was still coming for him. De Grasse it seems will forever be chasing Bolt and that is not a knock on the 21 year old Canadian. Everyone in the world will forever be chasing Bolt. But the one thing De Grasse can do that no one else can is push Bolt to be even better. After the race however, with the sarcastic finger waves and the grins was a special moment between friends and I felt thankful that they shared that moment with the millions and millions of people who watched around the world. I understand that sometimes we feel Canadians are under discussed, but this relationship does involve Usain Bolt. He is probably the most popular athlete in the world right now and someone who rarely does anything on a small scale. So even a simple press conference is done with bravado and is not only watched worldwide, it is rewatched multiple times.

Bolt is an incredible athlete, a phenomenal showman and seems to have a genuine personality that is loved by all. Well, except for a few Americans maybe <cough> Justin Gatlin <cough>. So yes there was an incredible amount of people who had just witnessed the present and future king of track demonstrate what the Olympics should be about; what life should be about. You must always believe in yourself and do the very best you can. De Grasse has come to these Olympics believing he can beat Bolt. He may not have accomplished that, but he did run personal best times which is all anyone can ask for on the Olympic stage. You challenge those around you to do better because in turn they will challenge you to do better. Celebrate and aspire to greatness, never belittle it. Most of all, have the utmost respect for your opponent and if they can have that for you, well, you are both golden. I really couldn’t care less what colour medal Mr. De Grasse wears around his neck, I am just so thankful that through him we have witnessed the true spirit of the Olympic Games and damn proud that the only colour that really matters is the Canada Red in his heart.

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