It started off as a sprint but ended up as a marathon. On 22 August 2008, eight nations and 32 athletes contested the men’s 4×100 metre final in Beijing, China.
And, on 25 January 2017, Mr Live Wire can now reveal the impending result.
The winner, with an amazing time of eight years, six months, three days and 38.06 seconds… Trinidad and Tobago! Bawh!
“Usain Bolt, doh bother we… Check de Beijing results, and you will see!”
Yes, in a sensational Caribbean remake of “The Tortoise and the Hare”, Trinidad and Tobago sprinters Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Richard “Torpedo” Thompson deployed a brilliant strategy called “running fast and clean” to overtake the Jamaican quartet of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Asafa Powell and the legendary Usain Bolt—Carter was found to have traces of banned substance, methylexanamine, in his system, which was discovered during WADA’s retest of urine samples last year.
The T&T sprint team’s approach, which WADA hopes catches on, entailed the obligatory endless hours of hard work and training. But—and this is the clincher—to successfully pull off this tactic, the competitors must ignore the shortcuts, the seduction of the financial spoils at stake for illegal advancement, and the screams of “just run a little faster!” by thousands of compatriots who never bought a Gatorade for you in your 15 year-plus career as an athlete.
You must be willing to do everything necessary to win. But you must also spot that uncrossable line.
Or in the immortal words of Meat Loaf: I’d do anything for gold, but I won’t do that…
So what can Bledman, Burns, Callender, Thompson and reserve Aaron Armstrong expect for winning only Trinidad and Tobago’s third gold medal in 70 years of Olympic competition?
Well, first of all, their compatriots would need to actually spot the virtue in competing clean and putting egos aside for the greater collective good of a team without turning to skullduggery, nepotism or dodgy backdoor deals—and this in a country where the Head of State refuses to relinquish an allegedly illegal housing bonus, a Prime Minister sees nothing wrong in a MP helping her common-law husband get a State house and an Opposition Leader who…
Eh, okay, we don’t have enough time to go over the Opposition Leader’s CV right now. But how do you think we would have fared in Beijing if, instead of Bledman, Burns, Callender and Thompson, we had four stereotypical Trinbagonians?
Crooked Politician would have run the opening leg—in keeping with the timeless political philosophy of “Me first.” But it would be hard for Crooked Politician to stay keen and motivated because, no matter what happens, the outcome is somebody else’s fault.
Lazy Public Servant takes the slippery baton for the second leg. What a thankless job: tough hours, no glory, poor Wi-Fi… Why should I kill myself for this?
Dodgy Contractor snatches the baton from the eye-rolling Lazy Public Servant and races up the bend. But wait… It started off so well. Now, the handover is late, the work is shoddy, materials are missing and Dodgy Contractor is leaving the track in a Porsche.
Someone will definitely have to look into how Dodgy Contractor got that contract in the first place—and why his mailing address is now in Panama!
Disinterested Voter has the anchor leg and… Huh? Geezan. It looks like Disinterested Voter has given up entirely because: “Even if I try, I can’t catch Bolt anyway!”
Apparently, Disinterested Voter started an online petition to the IOC, in mid-race, to award gold medals to everyone for simply showing up! Well, if that isn’t an Ultimate Reject…
Naturally, nobody from those four categories would see anything in today’s result worth cheering—despite the fact that tiny Trinidad and Tobago had the fastest team of clean sprinters on the planet in 2008. But, waaaay sah, Mr Live thought it was only the local courts that delivered such “speedy” verdicts.
So, Bledman, Burns, Callender, Thompson and Armstrong, let’s fill you in on what you missed over the last eight years while you were awaiting the 4×100 results:
The United States had a black president! Yep, Barack Obama was sworn in on 20 January 2009 as the world’s most powerful democracy finally embraced a suave, charismatic, gentleman with a God-given tan who could dunk a basketball.
But then they replaced him with an orange, misogynistic, loud-mouthed, race-baiting buffoon, whose idea of a golden shower was not quite what you guys had in mind when that race started.
Locally, we had three Prime Ministers—Patrick Manning, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Dr Keith Rowley—as we went from PNM to PP to UNC-plus one to PNM again.
We could sum it all up in four letters but why waste a perfectly good asterisk?
Oh and there is the crazy synchronised move called the “Mannequin Challenge” where persons remain frozen in action for as long as possible while a moving camera films life going on around them.
Actually guys, we think you might have won gold for that too!
Live Wire cannot confirm that TTOC president Brian Lewis had a glass of bubbly to celebrate today’s Olympic result-in-waiting.
Ten gold by 2020? Piece of cake!