A heart-breaking end to an era of sporting success
For the past decade watching the Olympics has often delivered two inevitable sights: the flames of the Olympic torch and podium places finishes for Mo Farah and Usain Bolt.
On one hand you’ve got a British runner, Sir Mohamed Mukhtar Jama Farah, more commonly known as "Mo". The most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, Farah was the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist in both the 5000 m and 10,000 m races.
And on the other hand, you’ve got Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter dubbed the "fastest man on earth" and the first person to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records. A man as fast as his missile shot namesake.
Aside from a closet full of medals and multiple world-records, these two sporting giants now also share the same retirement date.A dramatic Saturday night, the 12th of August saw an emotional farewell for both of the superstar athletes.
Fans of the "fastest man on earth" waited in anticipation to witness history be made; to see their hero win his 20th medal for Jamaica, and give him the heroic send-off that he deserves. Just a week after winning a bronze in his last individual competition, the stage was set for that one last Gold medal in the 4x100m relay; but there was no fairy-tale farewell waiting at the end of the tunnel as the 'Lightning Bolt' had to be helped off the track by his team-mates. Collapsing from an injury, Bolt was unable to finish his last ever race.
Bolt’s team-mates rushed to blame organizers for the failure of Bolt’s farewell ceremony. Yohan Blake commented saying, “they were holding us too long in the call room, the walk was too long. Usain was really cold. In fact Usain said to me, ‘Yohan, I think this is crazy'".
With tears in his eyes, and ours, Bolt left the track for the last time.
In a less devastating send-off, Mo Farah was crowned with silver as his happy family accompanied him to the podium. Filled with an obviously intense range of emotions, the legend made it clear that it was his last ever 5000m race as he thanked everyone that had supported him throughout his journey.
Closing a chapter in sporting history that will surely be remembered by the history books, the pressure now moves on to future generations; generations that were led by the example of two of the greatest athletes that world has ever seen.