Wednesday, 20 August 2008


IMG_3844.JPG, originally uploaded by

The new magic number.
19.30 seconds.
I hoped that I might see it but I did not think it would really happen. I knew that it might. I hoped that it would.
I wonder what Michael Johnson was thinking up in the BBC studio? When he ran 19.32 I was utterly enthralled at the capabilities of mankind. I was additionally stunned because what was possible for Michael Johnson (and now for Usain Bolt) was so palpably impossible even for all of the very, very best athletes in history.
The speed they ran is possible -they proved that- but it is impossible for 5,999,999,998 of us. That is gripping. Those 19.30 seconds in today's 200m men's Olympic final rescued a fairly uninspiring day for me and reminded me of how intoxicating it is to push the very limits of what people believe to be possible.



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