BY: JODEE BROWN
Nine-time Olympic Gold medalist, Carl Lewismay be learning the hard way never to make Jamaicans angry as the island’s greatest sprinting product and several of his fans have fired back at the highly revered American athlete.
As expected, Usain Bolt cemented his legendary status at the Olympic games in London by repeating as the 200m champion in a time of 19.32 seconds. Bolt, along with Jamaican teammates, Yohan Blake (Silver – 19.44s) and Warren Weir (Bronze – 19.82s) ensured that London’s medal stand was proverbially painted in black, green and gold; completing an unprecedented sweep of the high-profile event.
However, the attention turned to Usain Bolt as he had a verbal go at Carl Lewis for comments that the American sprinting legend made a few days ago in light of Bolt’s defense of his Olympic 100m title on Sunday. During an interview, Lewis implied that Jamaica’s drug testing procedures and doping controls needed to be strengthened compared to other countries.
“I’m going to say something controversial right now. Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him,” Bolt told reporters.
”The things he says about track athletes are very downgrading for us. I think he is looking for attention because no one talks about him. I think it was really sad when I heard the other day what he was saying. For me, I have lost all respect for him, all respect.”
When asked what comment specifically drove Bolt over the edge, the Jamaican sprint icon stated,”It’s all about drugs, (him) talking about drugs stuff. For athletes (who are) out of the sport saying that, that’s really upsetting for me. For him to jump up and say something like that, as far as I am concerned, he is just looking for attention.”
According to Bolt, Jamaicans are clean ‘without a doubt’ and have trained really hard to reach the heights of success within track and field.
But it wasn’t just Bolt who fired shots at Carl Lewis as his fans and fellow Jamaicans made their voices heard via social media, attacking Lewis on his own Facebook fan page.
One Facebook user wrote on Lewis’ wall, “Carl Lewis yuh bad mind … you get your shine, mek somebody else get a piece of the limelight … see you have to eat you words.”
Another comment read, “Usain Bolt is a far better athlete than u were and you know it, and the reason it burns you so much is because Usain Bolt loves what he does and does what he loves..”
“Bolt is the best now and the best there ever was … You’re just jealous and why can’t you be like Micheal Johnson and be one of the GREATS of track and be humble … I used to be a fan of urs you know, but no longer #Team Jamaica.”
Nevertheless, Jamaicans continue to celebrate Bolt’s success as he became the first athlete to successfully defend his 100m and 200m titles at the Olympics. For Bolt, it was his fifth gold medal at the Olympics since 2008.
However, most of the attention locally has shifted towards Warren Weir, a Calabar High Schoolalumnus who surprised many in securing his first Olympic medal. Many Jamaicans are now excited about their track prospects as Weir and two-time silver medalist, Yohan Blake are just 22 and 21 years old respectively and have already been tipped to mirror Bolt’s unprecedented success for Olympics to come.