From Esquire - Usain Bolt: Mutant

  • The Running Team
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In the latest issue of Esquire, Luke Dittrich delivers a well-written and insightful feature on the fastest man on the planet entitled - Usain Bolt: Mutant. Although it hit subscribers a week ago, the article is finally available online. The accompanying black and white photo is by Nadav Kander and online Esquire offers a bonus video which follows.
?In just two years, he has demolished the 100-meter dash world records with times that are superhuman ? literally thirty years ahead of what they historically should be. So what if the greatest athlete alive decided to actually get serious?

?The low snap of a single gunshot bursts from eight speakers at once. Each speaker is positioned behind a single man, and each man is positioned more or less identically in a sprinter's crouch: his feet in the starting blocks, his legs slightly bent, his rear end higher than his shoulders, his fingers splayed on but not beyond the white chalk of the starting line. The color schemes of their Lycra uniforms are different ? the blue and white of the United States, the red and white of Trinidad and Tobago, the green and yellow of Jamaica ? but otherwise, at this moment, their heads down, their faces invisible, their bodies immobile, it is hard to tell the runners apart.

?By approximately the four-second mark, the drive phase has transitioned into the stage known as "full acceleration." The runners are now truly, in the classic sense, running, knees driving up ahead of their hips while their elbows drive back in the opposite direction, a plumb line between where the balls of their feet impact the ground and their chests cleave the air. And it is at this point that the ultimate difference between Usain Bolt and his competitors reveals itself. It is both a simple difference and one that, when you witness it, is hard to fathom.?

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