The eight-time Olympic champion and 11-times world champion Usain Bolt is among nine elite athletes who have partnered with fitness company Peloton for its newly released Champions Collection.

Peloton Interactive, Inc. is an exercise equipment and media company that allows monthly subscribers to remotely participate in classes via streaming media.

Inside Hook reported on Wednesday that Peloton announced the Champions Collection for which it was partnering with the likes of Bolt, tennis star Angelique Kerber, surfer John John Florence, Allyson Felix and Andre De Grasse, Paralympic long jumper Scout Bassett, Olympic gymnasts Becky and Ellie Downie, and former world-record-holding swimmer Kathleen Baker.

According to the online publication, athletes will likely not become formal instructors but will probably have pages built out on the platform, where subscribers can follow along with their favourite workouts or playlists.

 

Australia Open champion, Naomi Osaka, has described watching Jamaica sprint king Usain Bolt performing at the Olympics as her most memorable moment.

Bolt, who retired from the sport of track and field in 2017, will not be competing at the Games in Tokyo this summer but in many ways still looms large over a sport he dominated for close to a decade.

At the 2016 Rio Games, the last time the event was held, Bolt destroyed the field in typical fashion, en route to three gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m.  On debut, at the 2008 Beijing Games, Bolt set massive world records in both the 100m and 200m sprints.

Overall, Bolt finished his csareer with 8 Olympic gold medals.  With such dominant performances, it is little wonder that Osaka, who has Caribbean roots herself with her father hailing from the island of Haiti, enjoyed watching the Jamaican in his prime.  Osaka, who is likely to attempt to win a gold medal for Japan this summer, recently shared what the quadrennial event has meant to her over the years.

“When I think of the Olympics, what comes to mind is, of course, the opening ceremony, just seeing all the people being so happy,” Osaka said in an interview posted on the ITF official website.

“My like most outstanding Olympic memory is just watching Bolt run. He’s my favorite athlete and for my whole family. My dad really loves his running so we would just like to watch him.”

Never before has the idea of 'Olympic spirit' been more pertinent as the days close in on a second attempt to stage the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The coronavirus pandemic meant the Olympics had to be postponed for the first time since World War II last year and the ongoing global health crisis has led to continued uncertainty as to whether they can even take place over the rearranged dates of July 23 to August 8.

It is already known that international spectators will not be allowed to travel to Japan, with stadiums to admit only local fans to try to limit the spread of COVID-19.

But, as things stand, it is full steam ahead for Tokyo to finally host the Games of the 32nd Olympiad. As global communities look to match the kind of resolve that makes the Games so special, join us in looking back at 10 of the most memorable moments in Olympics history, with 100 days to go until the action begins.

OWENS DEFIES HITLER AND EARNS LEGENDARY STATUS

It was not just the sensational athletic feats that enshrined Jesse Owens as an all-time great. At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Owens – an African American – sensationally won four gold medals, in the 100 metres, 200m, 4x100m relay and the long jump, breaking or equalling nine Olympic records and setting three world records along the way. But what was perhaps even more remarkable was the context of his achievements, with Germany under the Nazi rule of Adolf Hitler. Owens' success struck a blow to Hitler's propaganda drive and disproved his theory of Aryan racial superiority. In 1984, Carl Lewis would emulate his idol by winning the same four events in Los Angeles.

BEAMON'S LEAP OF THE CENTURY

The 1968 Games were held amid a tense local political backdrop, with many protesters having been killed by the army 10 days before the Olympics in Mexico City. During the Games, black Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos - the 200m gold and bronze medallists - gave the Black Power salute on the podium, standing alongside Australian Peter Norman who wore a badge in support of Smith and Carlos' Olympic Project for Human Rights. A day later, Bob Beamon pulled his socks high up in support of his compatriots having achieved what would be known as the 'Leap of the Century'. The New Yorker - who had a troubled upbringing - leapt an astonishing 8.90 metres (29 feet, two and a half inches), which was 55 centimetres better than the previous world record. The jump was so remarkable that officials had to measure its distance manually as the optical device being used at the Games did not reach far enough. To this day, it remains an Olympic record, though the world benchmark belongs to Mike Powell, who jumped 8.95m in 1991.

NADIA'S A PERFECT 10

Prior to the 1976 Games in Montreal, the idea of a 'Perfect 10' in gymnastics felt like somewhat of a fable – an impossible quest. And then a 14-year-old from Romania caught the imagination and the hearts of the watching world on the uneven bars. Nadia Comaneci achieved the impossible, becoming the first gymnast in Olympics history to score a 10 … not that it was immediately obvious. Because the scoreboard allowed for only three digits, Comaneci's score showed up as '1.00'. It was only when the announcer confirmed the score that an elated crowd erupted in celebration. Comaneci would go on to achieve the feat six more times at the Games, while becoming the youngest all-round Olympic gold medallist ever.

HEART AND SEOUL AS FLO-JO SETS RECORDS TUMBLING

The remarkable thing about Florence Griffith Joyner's achievements in 1988 is how relatively ordinary she had been prior to dazzling in Seoul. A silver four years earlier in the 200m came with the caveat of Russia, East Germany and most of the Eastern Bloc opting to boycott the Games. 'Flo Jo' had seemingly given up on athletics completely in 1986, working as a bank clerk and hair stylist before returning in 1987, shedding weight and finishing second in the 200m at that year's World Championship. Considered a decent but not elite 100m runner, all of that changed when 'Flo-Jo' smashed the women's 100m world record with a time of 10.49 at the US Olympic trials in July 1988. She said her transformation was based on modelling her training on that of Canadian Ben Johnson. Johnson famously won the men's 100m in Seoul in what was a world-record time of 9.79s, only to hand the gold medal after failing a drugs test, giving sport one of its most shocking moments. Yet at the same Games, 'Flo-Jo' was the flamboyant queen of the track, taking gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m – the former in an Olympic-record time of 10.54 that stands to this day, and the 200m in a world record of 21.34 that also remains unsurpassed. She died in 1998 after a seizure, a tragic end to a staggering story.

JOHNSON AWESOME IN ATALANTA

Before Bolt came along, there was another man who held the unofficial moniker of fastest man on the planet. Michael Johnson's achievement in the 1996 Olympic Games led legendary commentator David Coleman to profess: "This man is surely not human." Just three days after claiming the 400m title, Johnson left rivals in his wake with an astonishing performance in the 200m where his time of 19.32 seconds beat his own world record by over three tenths of a second. It was a benchmark that would stand until Bolt came along with a staggering 19.30s in the final of the 2008 Olympics, later going even quicker with a mind-boggling 19.19 at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

FREEMAN THE SYMBOL OF UNITY IN SYDNEY SPACESUIT

Cathy Freeman was the poster girl of the 2000 Sydney Olympics – and Australia's only realistic hope of an athletics gold delivered in memorable style. Her face could be seen on billboards, buses and newspaper front pages throughout the country. Freeman represented more than just an athlete of supreme talent, for the Aboriginal superstar became viewed as a figure of unity, a symbol of reconciliation in Australia. Few will forget the sight of Freeman lighting the flame for the Games, which grew around her in front of a waterfall and left the perception she was floating in mid air. A silver medallist four years previously in Atlanta, the noise of over 112,000 fans caused a deafening roar as Freeman's face was shown on the giant television screens prior to the 400m final on September 25. In her now famous 'spacesuit', Freeman trailed Lorraine Graham and Katharine Merry heading into the final bend but left her rivals in her wake down the straight to claim a memorable gold - Australia's 100th in Olympics history.

STEVE'S FIVE GOLD RINGS LEAVE RIVALS IN OAR

"If anyone sees me go near a boat, you've got my permission to shoot me." Those were the famous words uttered by Steve Redgrave as he won a fourth gold medal at Atlanta 1996, in the coxless pair alongside Matthew Pinsent. But the lure of history proved too much and four years later, here he was again in Sydney competing this time as part of the coxless four and, at the age of 38, winning a fifth Olympic gold – at the time the first Briton to do so. He was the first endurance athlete who could claim to have won five golds at consecutive Games – doing so between 1984 and 2000.

HOLMES DOUBLES UP IN ATHENS

A promising career beset by injuries and illness took its toll on Kelly Holmes, who would later open up on her battle with clinical depression. But the countless hours spent in training, and gruelling rehab sessions, would be rewarded in the most magical of ways across six glorious days at Athens in 2004. The Briton had always harboured dreams of being a 1,500m Olympic champion and was in two minds as to whether she would even compete in the 800m. But race she did, and a textbook in tactics paid dividends as Holmes bided her time among a strong pace to take the lead on the final bend and hold off Hasna Benhassi and Jolanda Ceplak on the line. Just five days later, Holmes would again race towards the back of the pack in the 1,500m before hitting the front on the final straight to defeat world champion Tatyana Tomashova. Holmes became only the third woman in history and the first Briton since Albert Hill 84 years earlier to win an 800m and 1,500m Olympic double in a memorable triumph against adversity.

MAGIC 8 FOR RECORD-BREAKING PHELPS

Four years prior to competing in Beijing, swimming sensation Michael Phelps had collected six golds and two bronze medals at the Athens Games. No Greek tragedy by any stretch, but it was in Beijing where Phelps made history – winning eight gold medals, the most in a single Olympics, beating the record of fellow American swimming legend Mark Spitz who won seven in 1972. Having levelled the tally with a narrow triumph over Milorad Cavic in the 100m butterfly, Phelps' moment of history arrived in the 4x100m relay medley as the USA stormed to victory. Phelps competed five Games between 2000 and 2016, and his tally of 28 Olympic medals is a record.

LIGHTNING BOLT A BLUR IN BEIJING

No list of great Olympic moments would be complete without one of the greatest athletes of all time. In 2008, if you had blinked you could almost have missed Usain Bolt tearing to 100 metres glory as he broke his own world record in a time of 9.69 seconds - a time he would beat with an astonishing 9.58 in Berlin a year later. Bolt's remarkable performance set the tone for an unrivalled period of sprinting dominance as he took gold in the 100m and 200m at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Games. Jamaica also won the 4x100m relay in each of the Olympics where Bolt competed, and only a doping test positive for a relay team-mate saw him finish his career with eight Olympic golds instead of nine.

Reigning sprint double world record holder, Usain Bolt, insists he would not be perturbed if his world records were broken with the aid of advancing athletics shoe technology.

Recently, athletics sportswear giant Nike unveiled the controversial Nike Zoom Air Viperfly spikes.  The shoe's advance design has a carbon fibre mechanism under the ball of the foot that acts like a springboard, which will generate more power in the sprinter's stride and hence lead to faster times.  The technology is geared towards helping the athlete in the last 20 metres of the race.

This version of the shoe, which has been designed specifically with 100m sprinters in mind, as it stands, will not be produced for this summer’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  This is due to the fact that the design currently falls afoul of the World Athletics regulations.

At some point, however, the introduction of such technology is bound to give athletes chasing the Jamaican’s marks a big advantage.  Bolt insists, however, that he has always placed more emphasis on titles in any case and would not be fretting over the records.

“I’m not going to be worried.  The fact that everyone will know why then it doesn’t bother me.  As I’ve always said, I’m happy to be the fastest man in the world but it was always the gold medals that mattered to me because that is how you really prove yourself,” Bolt told CNN.

“There are so many people that can say I am a former World record holder, but they're not a lot that can say I won three Olympic gold medals (In one event), back-to-back,” he added.

“To me, that is why I pushed myself so hard to dominate because I know at any point in time anyone can break your world record.  If you put so much emphasis on that, then what would you have left?”

Bolt’s world-leading marks of 9.58, in the 100m, and 19.19, in the 200m, have stood since 2009.  The Jamaican retired from the sport in 2017.

Readers of the world renowned athletics magazine, Athletics Weekly, have selected Usain Bolt as the greatest athlete of the past 75 years. They placed Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce third among the women.

Notwithstanding the presence of athletes like Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman, two of the world’s fastest men, 100 and 200m world-record holder Usain Bolt does not believe his records are under threat.

Usain Bolt believes Juventus and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is "definitely" quicker than him.

Bolt retired from athletics in 2017 but the eight-time Olympic gold medallist still holds the world records over 100 and 200 metres.

The 34-year-old clocked a world-record time of 9.58 seconds in the 100m at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, while he also ran 200m in 19.19s 11 years ago in the German city.

But Bolt feels five-time Ballon d'Or winner and footballer Ronaldo is faster.

"For sure Cristiano [is faster than me]," Manchester United fan Bolt, who also tried to forge a career in football post-athletics following trials with the likes of Borussia Dortmund and A-League side Central Coast Mariners, told Marca Sport Weekend.

"For me he works out every day, he is a super athlete.

"He always on top of his game, he works hard and he is focussed. Right now I definitely think he would be faster than me."

Ronaldo has scored six goals in four Serie A appearances for Juventus this season, while the 35-year-old netted in Portugal's 7-0 friendly rout of Andorra on Wednesday.

After bursting onto the scene at Sporting CP, Ronaldo spent six years at United, where he won three Premier League titles and the Champions League among other honours.

Ronaldo left United for Real Madrid in 2009, having scored 118 goals for the Red Devils across all competitions.

In the Spanish capital, Ronaldo became Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer with 450 – 311 of those coming in LaLiga.

Ronaldo claimed four Champions League crowns, a pair of LaLiga trophies, three Club World Cup honours and two UEFA Super Cups among other silverware before joining Juventus in 2018.

In Turin, Ronaldo already has 71 goals and two Serie A trophies to his name amid speculation he could depart for Paris Saint-Germain or United.

Olympian Donald Quarrie believes the current administration of the Jamaica Administrative Athletic Association (JAAA) has been stagnant for too long and there is an urgent need for change if Jamaica’s track and field is to avoid falling behind the rest of the world.

Quarrie, 69, is campaigning to become the next president of the association when votes are cast at the JAAA Annual General Meeting in late November. Incumbent president Dr. Warren Blake has said that he will not seek re-election and General Secretary Garth Gayle is said to be favoured to replace him.

That has not gone down well with Quarrie, who believes it is time for change.

“It’s the same people who are going to be in. The same deck of cards, only shuffled a different way,” the six-time Commonwealth champion said, indicating that the current torpidity is proving to be detrimental to Jamaican athletics.

An indication of the stagnation, Quarrie said, was the JAAA’s inability to capitalize on the success eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt, when he was at the peak of his powers.

“It’s not even about taking advantage, we didn’t know how,” Quarrie declared on Saturday during an interview on Sportsnation Live on Nationwide Radio in Kingston.

“We didn’t have the personnel to do it.”

Quarrie revealed that there was a plan was in place to capitalize on the remarkable success Jamaica was experiencing just over a decade ago when athletes like Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Yohan Blake, were the best in the world in what was arguably the most dominant period of the country’s track and field history.

However, that plan died along with then president Howard Aris.

“I was on the board up to 2011 after Howard passed. At that period there was a move to do so but Howard passed. After that, everything stood still and we never reached out to get the experts who could market the association, experts who could guide us,” the 1976 Olympic champion said.

“Instead, we were holding to something that had great value but we couldn’t see it and we didn’t capitalize on it. That is why we are in the position we are now.”

Quarrie said his love and dedication to Jamaica’s athletics is what has motivated him to try and make a difference.

 

 

Despite enjoying an outstanding 2020 track season World 400m hurdles champion, Karsten Warholm does not believe he is the man to replace Usain Bolt as the face of track and field. In fact, he believes no one can.

The 24-year-old Warholm came incredibly close to Kevin Young’s world record of 46.78 set back in 1992, when he ran 46.87, a European record, at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm in August.

Warholm also became the first athlete to run 47.10 or faster over the 400m hurdles multiple times during the course of a single season. He did it four times.

His remarkable performances made him the standout star in 2020 as every time he raced fans expected him to challenge or break the world record.

During a recent chat on Instagram Live with Olympian and athletics broadcaster Ato Boldon, Warholm was asked he if was ready to assume the mantle of the man to replace Usain Bolt. Achieving that, he said, would be impossible.

"When Usain Bolt came into the sport, he didn't have anyone right before him that... He didn't have any shoes to fill at that point,” he said.

"Now everybody talks about who's going to be the next Usain Bolt. Nobody is going to be the next Usain Bolt! Nobody is going to be the next Ato Boldon either.

"I think everybody's got to find their own way, Usain Bolt was huge so it's an honour just being compared to him but for me it's always been about developing.

"I don't want to build myself up as the face of the sport or the next Usain because for me it's about the running. If what comes with it is that people get inspired by what I'm doing, then I think that's great."

 Left alone to die, deep in the bushes of Falmouth, Trelawny, a former racehorse recently renamed George or Usain Bolt was rescued from certain death by a young woman who refused to turn a blind eye to the animal’s suffering.

 These days he receives plenty of love and care from his new owner, Julie, but a battle with cellulitis in one of his legs continues to put the animal’s life and health at risk.

The plight of the noble equine, however, speaks to larger issues, which we should be flushed with shame to ignore.  Firstly, we must ask the obvious question, how can we in good conscience allow such gentle creatures to be used and discarded in such a manner? But secondly, there clearly needs to be an inquiry into circumstances that have reportedly led to an increase in these life-threatening leg injuries at the island’s major racetrack, Caymanas Park, which makes it more likely for animals to end up in this or similar circumstances.

The disease afflicting George stems from a bacterial infection of the soft connective tissues under the skin, and it causes sudden, extreme swelling in the affected area—often in a leg. The disease is fairly common in horses, but on a recent occasion, George's leg had tripled in size overnight, which was terrifying especially because it causes lameness.

Lameness and infections can also be caused by a fracture in a horse’s leg.  Earlier this year former member of parliament and noted veterinarian Dr St Aubyn Bartlett called for a forensic audit into what he believed was a concerning increase in the number of leg fractures suffered by animals at Caymanas.

“We have to go right around, because I don’t think it is a matter of necessarily the track surface, but our track surface could have some impact,” Bartlett told the Gleaner in January.

 In a recent piece published in August 2020 titled, ‘Work to be done on Caymanas track’ Chairman of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), Solomon Sharpe, explained that the surface at the facility was, at the moment, overdue to be repaired. 

According to Sharp the surface was typically repaired every six months, but the COVID-19 pandemic, the unavailability of equipment and other factors had led to a delay in the process.  In the same piece, Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes a champion trainer, however, opined that grading should ideally be done 'almost every two to three weeks'.

While there is yet to be an established correlation, it seems more consistent repairs would remove a potentially causative factor from the equation and could lead to fewer instances where animals are put down or abandoned.  As for George, he remains far from out of the woods.

The Montego Bay Animal Haven recently thanked Dr. Sophia Ramlal, a veterinary surgeon for over 20 years, who ensures the wellbeing of the horses at Caymanas, for helping the stricken George.

This is the sad, but very real story about a lot of racehorses [but] his is different because a young lady found him. Way up in the bush, way off the beaten track, and she called me, begging for help,” the non-profit organisation said.

He has been battling the infection for a year now.  Some days are good and others are far from it. Inaccessible medication plus the lack of knowledge about the disease is preventing him from completely recovering. The Montego Bay Animal Haven said in a recent, touching post, “last night he was rushed off to @watessporthorses [Wates Sport Horses] where I promise you, if they hadn’t come, he would be in horse heaven by now.”

“We just don’t have the facilities or honestly, the knowledge to handle this. The same young lady who found him looks after and feeds him every day, rushed off at silly o’clock this morning, through a storm, pouring rain, to meet @hiprosupercentre [Hi-Pro Supercentre] in Kingston, three hours away, to get the meds needed to keep him alive.”

 The recent update  encouraged donations for George at https://www.montegobayanimalhaven.com/donate but says though he is receiving great care from Dr. Denise Cole and Dr. Sophia Ramlal, they are “not sure he will make it.”

 

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

 

Correction

SportsMax.tv would like to apologise for wrongly attributing quotes in the previous version of this article to Chairman of Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), Solomon Sharpe.  We deeply regret the error and any harm that may have resulted.

We would also like to categorically state that it was not our intention to suggest a direct correlation between the state of the surface at the Caymanas racetrack and equine injury. 

We accept that the issue is complex and multi-faceted and merely intended it to be analytically viewed as part of a long list of potential factors that could be at the centre of the issue.

 

 

Jamaica international Leon Bailey is set to miss the start of pre-season training for Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, after being faced with self-isolation orders due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.

The 23-year-old winger was among several prominent Jamaican sports stars in attendance at a birthday part for track and field legend Usain Bolt.  In short clips of the event posted to various social media outlets none of the athletes seemed to be practicing social distancing or donning masks.

Questions were also raised as to whether several of the players in attendance were not in violation of the two-week mandatory quarantine regulation required for those entering the country.  Jamaica has had a recent surge in COVID cases.

On Monday, Bolt tested positive for the coronavirus forcing others at the party to isolate this week.  On Thursday Leverkusen announced that the player was stopped from leaving the island by local authorities, who insisted the player observe the quarantine period.

The club is expected to begin testing players for preseason camp on Friday, with players requiring two negative tests before joining up with the squad.

Bailey will now not return to Germany until before their first competitive match of the season in a German Cup clash against minor league club Eintracht Norderstedt on September 13.

 

Athletics legend Usain Bolt should be held responsible for his behaviour after he tested positive for COVID-19, days after he was spotted with patrons sans social distancing and masks, for his surprise birthday party.

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle is free to join the Kings XI Punjab training camp, ahead of the new IPL season, after twice testing negative for the coronavirus.

The 41-year-old may have had cause for concern after reports suggested that he attended the celebrity-filled birthday party of sprint star Usain Bolt last week.  Bolt tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

"Couple days ago. 1st COVID-19 test...Before travel I need 2 negative test," Gayle's Instagram feed read. In another post, he wrote, "The last one went a bit too far in my nose. Phew. Result was negative."

"I'm going to stay home for 2020... not gonna travel again...nah sah! Tan a mi yard!! Keep the change! Excuse me!" he added.

The player will, however, be subject to more testing once he arrives in the UAE, where the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be staged this year.

On arrival, Gayle will receive a test at the airport, followed by six days of isolation.  During that period, he will be tested on days one, three and five.  Players and all personnel that will be part of this year’s competition must be cleared before they can enter the biosecure bubble.  Gayle had been expected to take part in this season’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), where he would have represented the St Lucia Zouks, but opted out of the competition.

 

 

 

Usain Bolt says he has not confirmed that he has COVID-19 but is in self-imposed quarantine until his test results are back.

Nationwide News reported on Monday that the eight-time Olympic gold medallist had tested positive for the Coronavirus. The news, NNN said, triggered a host of his associates and friends including football players Raheem Sterling, Leon Bailey and recording artiste Chris Martin being tested for the virus as they were in attendance at his birthday party last Friday, August 21. 

However, in a 50-second video posted on Twitter, Bolt said he heard the news regarding his positive test like everybody else; on social media despite reports that indicate that he was notified by health officials on Sunday.

“I did a test on Saturday to leave because I have work,” he said.

“Trying to be responsible so I am going to stay in and stay away from my friends and also, having no symptoms, going to quarantine myself and wait on the confirmation to see what is the protocol and how I should go about quarantining myself from Ministry of Health.”

Meantime, he is encouraging those who might have come into contact with him to be safe and enter quarantine.

More than 1500 Jamaicans have been confirmed to be infected by the virus. 116 Jamaicans were confirmed over a 24-hour period between Saturday and Sunday.

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