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“The will to succeed does not give victory. But it brings him closer…”
There is an “unwritten” law in athletics that tells us, not to mention that the most valuable test, as the queen of the competition would say, is the 100m, qualifying the one who runs it in the shortest time. as the fastest man in the world.
Not a single athlete for many decades has been able to reduce the time by 10 seconds at a distance of one hundred meters.
Until, in 1968, an outstanding North American sprinter accomplished a feat in Mexico: his name was Jim Hines, and he ran the 100 meters in 9 seconds and 95 hundredths. This time it meant that the man was able to reach a running speed of almost 40 km per hour. In recent decades, several athletes have reduced this time until a new speed star appeared on June 1, 2008.
At 100 meters, he spent 9 seconds 72 hundredths at an average speed of 45 km per hour, which is a clear sign of the limitless possibilities of man. The Jamaican-born athlete is named Usain Bolt. And two words about this Caribbean country in Central America. Its capital is the Kingdom where Bolt was born. Jamaica has about 3 million inhabitants.
Athletics is the national sport, and it is no coincidence that the previous world record holder in the 100 meters was born here: Asafa Powell.
In Jamaica, which formed the federation of the British West Indies decades ago with other islands, there are almost no illiterates. Today it is an independent country. But back to Usain Bolt. He is 21 years old, weighs 76 kg, which is in harmony with his height of 1.93 meters. This record meant, especially in the US, a fortune in dollars, advertising contracts and prestige.
Giving interviews in New York after the race to dozens of North American journalists, as well as newspapers and TV channels from around the world, with a smile both ironic and sad, he expressed words that surprised, but revealed his pain for the injustice, which he undoubtedly survived:
“As you can see, I’m still black, although I’m no longer poor, I don’t clean my shoes and I don’t sell newspapers”. And added: “You, gentlemen, journalists, want to hear my word and tell me that millions of people will listen to my statements?”.
And he added: “From this huge North American city, I would like to ask you: gentlemen of the journalists, did the fact that I run faster than other men make me better? And I answer them myself,” he continued: “If I had not set this world record, for many of those who will listen to me, especially in my country in Jamaica, neither my words nor even my personality would matter. Thank you”.
His eyes clouded over and he couldn’t add another word. And this devaluation, this absurd in every respect underestimation, is expressed by the mentally blind in relation to beings who are simply different, which in no way means that they are inferior.
And an additional comment about this sporting achievement. Each time the mark is exceeded, the question arises: has the limit been reached?
The answer would be: just as there are no limits for human knowledge, so there can be no limits for physical overcoming.
And since we are talking about physical improvement, then there is another record, no less valuable than the record of Usain Bolt, also achieved in athletics and at a distance of 100 meters. This other athlete, also an American, is called Marlon Shirley, he was 24 years old. Shirley’s time, obtained on July 22, 2002, is 11 seconds 08 hundredths, which means she registered 1 second and a few hundredths more than Bolt, running at almost 40 kilometers per hour. And what will be the achievement then? And why is this a record? Well, because Shirley had part of her left leg amputated at the age of five, and she helps herself run with a fiberglass prosthesis. Participate only in competitions for athletes with disabilities.
Now his achievements will be better understood. Because I think with his disability in the 100 meters he is only one second and one hundredth faster than the fastest man in the world. Shirley is a beautiful story of sacrifice and will at the service of a noble ideal. And although “the will to succeed in itself does not bestow victory, there is no doubt that it brings it closer.” “Because need or negative circumstances do not give strength. But they find them…”