Americans have a taste for the flamboyant and have embraced track’s blazingly fast and incredibly cocky star as if he were their own.
But Jamaica’s Usain Bolt may have just shot himself in one of his prized feet.
After becoming the first Olympian to repeat gold in the 200-meter sprint, Bolt decided to trash talk Carl Lewis, who won nine gold medals for the U.S. during his sprinting and jumping career.
When he was asked about the great sprinters of all time, including Jesse Owens and Lewis, Bolt lauded Owens. Then he said, “I’m going to say something controversial.
“Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him,” Bolt said. “The things he says about the track athletes are very downgrading. I think he’s just looking for attention because nobody really talks about him.
“I’ve lost all respect for him. All respect.”
Why, Bolt, why?
“All drug stuff,” he responded.
Lewis apparently got under Bolt’s skin when he questioned Bolt’s incredible improvement in the 100 meters at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, from a time of 10.03 seconds earlier that year to 9.69.
“If you don’t question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you’re a fool,” Lewis said. “Period.”
Bolt wasn’t pleased by that suggestion.
“It’s really amazing when people talk stupid stuff,” Bolt said. “Lewis, nobody remembers who he is .… We [the Jamaicans] work hard, we push ourselves to the limit. I shouldn’t even have to respond to that.”