We’ve seen our fair share of fast cars and faster people. But the blurs that we witnessed on Saturday — one on the ground and the other underwater — were, well, just that: blurs. On the ground, there was the Jamaican Usain Bolt, who at 9.69 seconds, cocked a snook at time by actually slowing down towards the 100 m race even as he broke the world record for the fastest man on Earth.
If the horse Bolted on dry land, the incredible, ‘hegemonic’ American swimmer Michael Phelps became on Sunday the human to win the highest number of gold medals in a single Olympic. As the aquatic phenomenon said when he equalled the previous record holder’s mark of seven golds on Saturday, he isn’t the second Mark Spitz, but the “first Michael Phelps”. The next day, he certainly was.
Speed is a concept that thrills even the most ardent armchair artists among us. Not only does it defy two of the strongest warriors of nature — gravity and friction — but it makes us revalue the length of a certain length of time. One thing was driven home to all of us this weekend: our 9.69 seconds are not the same as those of Bolt and Phelps. (This editorial took 46 second to read. Don’t ask us how long it took to write it.)