Usain & Susan
Posted August 26, 2009on:
I know I’ve been putting the Icon & Me as the headline for my posts, but when I looked at the challenge from my friend, Ron, to include the sprinter extraordinaire Usain Bolt in my breast cancer blog, I was struck by the similarities in our names. But for a single letter, I could have been Usain T. Hessel or perhaps the greatest female sprinter of all times.
(Or not. I was born and raised in the era of the 50-yard dash and was not too fast at it.)
I have to say that when Ron suggested Usain Bolt, I had no idea who he was or what in the world I would write about him. Thank you, Google, once again for helping me to learn about this man. While Michael Phelps was blowing away every swimmer in 2008, Bolt was doing the same on the track field. And he has shown himself to be inspirational.
In an online British Mirror article (http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/more-sport/athletics/2009/08/25/bolt-helps-brit-stars-115875-21622235/), runner Simeon Williamson said. “Usain has raised the profile of our sport sky high after it had been low for quite a few years. I will go away from here and work harder in everything I do.”
He also has inspired his own nation of Jamaica, refusing to leave that country to go to college in the United States, where so many of Jamaica’s athletes have chosen to stay after graduation. He chose to remain committed to his own land and people.
Washington Post writer Paul Farhi wrote about the impact of Bolt and other Jamaican runners on their country. “More recently, however, many of Jamaica’s fastest have returned, adding their experience and know-how to the national stock,” he wrote.
In that August 21 article, Farhi also wrote, there has been suspicion of “better running through chemistry.” But he said, not in Bolt’s case or the current batch of runners from Jamaica. “Track’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, announced earlier this week that all of the finalists in the 100 meters, including Bolt, tested negative after the race. Which made Bolt’s achievement not just stunning, but pure,” he wrote. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082004135.html)
So what does this have to do with me? I welcome every bit of inspiration. I know treatment for breast cancer is going to be more of a marathon than a sprint.
And, I must confess now in advance that my achievement – survival – will not be as pure Usain Bolt’s. If they want to give me drugs to get through chemotherapy, I’ll take ’em.
Have an idea for a cultural icon challenge for me to work into this blog? Send it to me via email or comment. I will use them in the order that my brain figures them out.