This is probably the most popular photo so far of Rio 2016. It’s Usain Bolt, in his semi-final heat of the 100m on Sunday night, cruising to the finish line with a grin while the rest of the field is busting their asses behind him. That was the moment everyone knew he had a lot left for the gold, more than enough to win the gold. Which is why this shot, even though it didn’t happen in the final, ended up being the one that blew up everywhere, and probably used more than any other picture.
Does it interest you how it happened? Who took it? And in what circumstances? My favourite article yesterday told the story behind the image, “how a photographer snapped that brilliant photo of Usain Bolt”. His name is Cameron Spencer and he wasn’t even assigned to shoot Usain’s race that night. It’s just that he had four minutes to spare on the event in his schedule and instead of sitting around loafing, he decided to run over and try to see what he could get from Usain in the semi-final.
The media has taken a lot of sh-t – and deservedly – for some embarrassing work during these Games. But this is the account of a person who was really good at his job that night, a theme I come back to a lot on my blog. In Cameron Spencer’s case, on this particular night, when he was the best at his job, the result of it was captured, literally, forever. By the way, the first photo from Usain Bolt’s 100m final win was sent out on the wires just 59 seconds after it was over. Less than a minute.
I’m also attaching some pictures of Usain with his two “little brothers”: Canada’s Andre De Grasse, who finished with the bronze medal in the 100m final, and who, so far, is the only male medallist for Canada in Rio, and South Africa’s 400m record-breaking Wayde van Niekerk, both of whom have said they look to Usain for inspiration and who have received nothing but support and respect from him in return.
Yours in gossip,