In 1988 I watched in horror as my childhood hero Carl Lewis was blown away by Ben Johnson in the men’s 100m final at the Seoul Olympic Games.
The ripped and bulging Canadian sprinter launched out of the blocks to blaze to a new world record time of 9.79 seconds. To my relief, three days later, Johnson was stripped of his gold medal and banned for testing positive to steroids. Lewis was then unceremoniously anointed as the Olympic champion, and faith was restored to my little world.
Not many records can endure the vacillation of time. Johnson’s drug assisted time was considered only possible because he used a banned substance. His time has since been broken on several occasions. Usain Bolt is the reigning Olympic champion and world recorder holder, clocking in a 9.58 seconds. May I be so bold as to suggest that one day a man of freakish ability will run it in eight seconds?