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"Nobody is irreplaceable" - Legendary American athlete Carl Lewis on Usain Bolt

The American athlete was angry at Bolt being glorified more than the sport after the latter's retirement.


15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 - Day Two

Bolt retired earlier this month


What's the story?

Track and field great Carl Lewis was seen taking a dig at legendary athlete Usain Bolt after his retirement earlier this month. Stressing on laying more importance on the sport rather than making one man the center of attention, Lewis was quoted saying, "The sport is not just about one person. Nobody is irreplaceable. Track and field survived many civilizations. Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson and now Usain Bolt. Men will all come and go but the sport will always remain".

Carl Lewis himself was an athlete who won nine Olympic gold medals, a silver medal, as well as 10 World Championships medals that included eight golds.

In case you didn't know

Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter is the first person to hold the records for both 100 metres and 200 metres since a fully automatic time became mandatory. Looked upon as a source of inspiration for numerous aspiring athletes, the Jamaican finally decided to retire after an unfortunate spell at the World Championship in London, where the only medal he managed was a bronze in the 100m.

The heart of the matter

Speaking on Bolt's retirement decision, Lewis was seen to have taken the limelight falling on the sportsman quite negatively. According to him, he stated that it was now time to build more on the sport rather than glorifying the sportsperson. He went on to say that obsession with a single man was not what the true spirit of a sport was about. With Bolt's retirement, Lewis feels that it's time to build on the sport, now that people will get over their obsession with a singular man.

A man seen to clearly not mince his words and speak while he did on the sidelines of the 29th Summer Universiade, he said that their main job was to build competition, to grow the sport and make a difference as a whole, in other words, not to focus on only growing one's self.

What's next?

As the assistant coach of the US track and field University team, Lewis took another dig at Bolt by saying that the likes of the young Cameron Burrell, Rio bronze medallist Canadian Andre de Grasse and world championship 100 m silver medalist Christian Coleman are the ones to look out for. He strongly believes that they will be able to surpass, if not maintain Bolt's standard.

Author's take

Having agreed that a sport should definitely not be closed to glorifying just one person, the brilliance of the legendary Usain Bolt is surely something to be looked upon as inspiration for current as well as upcoming athletes.


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