Because there appears to be no opponent worthy to challenge him for his crown on the Olympic track in these games, I have come up with a list of 10 potential adversaries who may be able to give him a run for his money, if it came down to a one-on-one, winner-take-all race.
10. Billy Hamilton: Most likely the fastest athlete you've never heard of, Hamilton is currently a minor leaguer in the Cincinnati Reds farm system. With over a month the play in the minor-league season, Hamilton has 126 stolen bases and has already scored an inside-the-park home run in under 14 seconds. I can think of no better way to introduce yourself to the professional sporting world than to taking down the world's fastest man. Plus, Billy has made his thoughts about Bolt known on Twitter, adding to the intrigue.
9. A Sailfish: Swimming through the ocean at a reported 68 miles an hour, the sailfish would obviously need accommodations in order to challenge Bolt. This matchup would probably be the most aesthetically pleasing of any on the list, with the 6-foot-5-inch Bolt squaring off against the majestically leaping sailfish. The edge would likely be with Bolt, however, as the sailfish may have difficulty swimming in a straight enough line.
8. Apollo Ohno: Another challenger that specializes in speed off the track, Ohno is a world champion speedskater, having won 18 Winter Olympic medals in speed skating. I am not sure how the race would turn out, but the scales would definitely tip toward Ohno if they decided to go double or nothing with a ballroom dancing competition.
7. The Batmobile: There is no more iconic vehicle in American pop culture history than the Batmobile. I can only imagine how great it would be seeing the Batmobile charging down the road with Bolt in full gallup by its side. That being said, I don't like the Batmobile's chances unless Christian Bale is driving as opposed to, say, Val Kilmer.
6. Secretariat: If you ask me to make the one race where it would truly be legend versus legend I would choose Usain Bolt versus Secretariat. No runner has ever captured the American public the way Secretariat did, winning the Triple Crown in 1973. In addition to that, the iconic horse competed in 21 races and won 16. Bolt would definitely have to be on his game in this one.
5. Michael Vick: The star of the Michael Vick experience, its namesake reportedly ran a 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in 4.33 seconds, the fastest time ever recorded for a quarterback. If nothing else, you can rest assured advertisers would have a field day with this race and there would be no shortage of commercials during the TV broadcast.
4. Justin Verlander: No offense, but I certainly am not suggesting Justin Verlander actually run against Bolt, because he would not be any match. What I'm referring to more specifically is Justin's fastball, especially in the later innings, where it's been known to reach upwards of 100+ miles per hour. A prime example of the damage it can do occurred last month when it broke Gordon Beckham's bat -- when he didn't even swing. I am not sure if Bolt will be able to out run the pitch, but at the very least he better not get hit by it.
3. Michael Johnson: How great would it be turn back the clock to 1996 and have former fastest man in the world Johnson take on the current fastest man in the world Bolt? Known for his electric personality and gold shoes (in addition to his great ability), Johnson won gold in the 200- and 400-meter in the 1996 Games, setting the world record in both. No one has ever won gold in both of those events at the same Olympics, and it's difficult to imagine anyone doing so in the near future. It's impossible to choose a winner here, as it is track's true prime Michael vs. LeBron argument.
2. A Zebra: This one's personal. While beating Secretariat would go as far as beating anyone else when it comes to establishing a legacy, beating a zebra would avenge a loss suffered by the human race. In a Fox TV special, appropriately dubbed "Man Versus Beast," the beast won when a zebra defeated 2004 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Crawford in a sprint. Hopefully, Bolt is the one to put man back on top and put the zebra and its place.
1. The Roadrunner: All kidding aside, this may be the only person or, in this case cartoon, that could give Bolt a true run for his money. And, after his performance at the 2012 Olympics, my money is still on Bolt.
More Olympic content from this Contributor:A "Melo" Haiku
- Athletics, Track & Field
- Sports & Recreation
- Usain Bolt
- 2012 Olympics
- Billy Hamilton
- Michael Vick
- Justin Verlander
- Michael Johnson