close
close

Usain Bolt’s coach calls on athletics not to use Bolt versus influence of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods: ‘Keep falling behind’

The biggest star in athletics was undoubtedly Usain Bolt. Whether the world knew anything about the sport or not, everyone knew the name Usain Bolt. But even as Bolt dominates the headlines for a career spanning more than a decade, athletics remains an unpopular sport outside of the Olympics.

ADVERTISEMENT

The article continues below this ad

And perhaps Bolt’s popularity could have been better leveraged by esports to launch himself into the mainstream. Coach Glen Mills, the man behind Bolt’s countless successes, agrees.

ADVERTISEMENT

The article continues below this ad

Coach Mills talks about star-driven sport

When an athlete is leaps and bounds ahead of their competitors, it is natural for their popularity to surpass that of the sport as a whole. We’ve seen this many times in history, with Michael Jordan and basketball, Tiger Woods and golf, and especially with Usain Bolt and track. Often the fame of the star also contributes to the popularization of the sport itself.

Glen Mills believes Bolt’s fame had a lot of potential that hasn’t been realised. “One of the things I will lament is that the sport has not benefited as it should, both locally and internationally, with a star performer at Bolt’s level.” mills said the Jamaica Observer.

He commented on how other sports have benefited from their superstars and continue to do so. “When I look at the impact of Tiger Woods’ rise, it is clear that golf has made the most of its popularity. Look at what the NBA has become after Michael Jordan and how it’s grown with its superstars and we could move on.” he added.

There has been a long debate over how athletics continues to miss out on their viewership numbers. Many World Athletics international events are not even televised. One theory behind this unpopularity is that the sport has not cemented its identity as an amateur, professional, or Olympic sport.

DIVE DEEPER

“A moment I will cherish forever” – Usain Bolt reacts to a fan sharing a picture from his last pro race in 2017

16 days ago

mills claims “Athletics continues to fall behind in its semi-amateurism and it’s time for athletics to become a fully professional sport.”

Usain Bolt, His Impact and Popularity

ADVERTISEMENT

The article continues below this ad

Bolt has a total of eight gold medals at Olympic Games and eleven at World Championships. He also set unbeatable world records in the 100m and 200m, earning him the nickname “Fastest Man Alive”. His legacy lies not only in his medal tally, but also in his ability to inspire countless young players.

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 27: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning gold medal in men’s 200m final on day six of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 27, 2015 in Beijing, China . (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Bolt was consistently faster than his competitors. His 6ft 5in height put him at a disadvantage from a slow start. However, later in the race he had the upper hand and he used his full potential. He dominated the track and the world watched in fascination. He is the only athlete to have tripled in three consecutive Olympics.

ADVERTISEMENT

The article continues below this ad

Not only was Bolt a fantastic sprinter, but his personality made the sport fun. His dance routines after his races and his signature pose, “The Lightning Bolt,” became famous in popular culture. He knew how to play the audience and his little shows made him incredibly personable. If used effectively, Bolt’s popularity could have had many long-term benefits in athletics presentation and viewership.

DIVE DEEPER

“You wouldn’t need Bolt” – Athletics legend Michael Johnson points out that over-reliance on Usain Bolt is used to emphasize athletics

18 days ago

Leave a Comment