LONDON — In winning both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter London Olympic gold medals, Mo Farah became a national hero for Great Britain and the nation's "greatest runner ever" in the eyes of Sebastian Coe. Seriously, it's gotten to the point where London Mayor Boris Johnson is humble to be in his presence, and the man didn't know the meaning of the word until that point.
Farah also sent BBC announcers into hysterics, as the partisan analysts were cheering him on in Saturday night's 5,000-meter championship, which he won in a thrilling last lap:
Loved the slow clap-and-turn to the camera by American track legend Michael Johnson, with that "are you seeing this [expletive]?" look on his face.
The pundit leaping around was Denise Lewis, and the man bouncing in his chair while screaming was Colin Jackson. Were they over the top? Completely. But give them credit: Compared to their reactions to Farah's first gold at the London Games, Saturday night was like they were in a library.
From the BBC during Farah's previous win:
It's likely that they were at least in part what the BBC director-general, Mark Thompson, had in mind when Helen Boaden, the BBC's director of news, told staff in a memo that the DG was worried about impartiality, despite pretty much universal acclaim for what has been superlative coverage.
So how did the very same commentators react to Mo's race last night? In exactly the same way, leaping around and yelling their heads off just as much as before, if not more. In truth, they could be forgiven: euphoric scenes in the BBC studio last night were replicated in living rooms and pubs throughout Britain.
As the saying goes in the media: No cheering in the press box … unless you're covering the Olympics.
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