Usain Bolt trots home in world record time
Michael Phelps on his way to eight.
I made a promise that I wouldn't get involved in the Olympics this year, that I wouldn't spend hours in front of the TV, that I wouldn't get caught up in all the hype. Then a small little voice said I needed to do just that, that I would see things which were truly transcendent.
I have seen things that have left my jaw in my lap. I watched Jason Lezak swim an incomprehensible last leg in the 4x100 freestyle relay and overtake the French world champion at the wall. Lezak's singular best performance was the critical lynch pin in Phelp's march to the Great Eight. Then I watched Michael Phelps himself defy space and time and win the 200 meter butterfly by .o1 second. I have studied the photo frames of this finish from Sports Illustrated, and it confirmed what I saw with my own eyes on live TV. Somehow Phelps jerked to the wall in the last three or four feet. In the photos this move is not captured. In the first photo he's about three feet away and somehow in 1/10,00oth of a second he's at the wall. You can see these photos here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0808/oly.beijing.day8/content.1.html
If that wasn't enough befuddlement for one day, I watched Usain Bolt blow away the men's 100 meter final and virtually trot through the finish line in world record time. Half way through the race he seemed to be shot forward, pulling away with east, and coasted home. I was like, "What just happened. Nobody does that to a world class field. Nobody coasts home to a world record in the men's hundred. How fast could he have gone?" Some commentators think he was at a pace which would have reduced the world's record by more the two tenths of a second. That is crazy stuff for a record which is usually reduced by hundredths of a second. It's the mathematical difference between 10 miles an hour and a hundred miles an hour.
For me what's been as interesting as their performances, have been their comments. When Phelps was asked about his eight for eight performance, he attributed it to the strength of his imagination and the fact that Mark Spitz had set the dream in place. It looks to me like Michael Phelp's imagination created a reality in which Michael Phelps winning his eight medals was a done deal, a forgone prophetic conclusion and everyone around him assented to that reality. His teammates swum one personal best after another in the team events, Lezak's just being the most glaringly obvious and Phelp's unworldly finish in the 200 butterfly is just one more piece of evidence.
As for Usain Bolt, when asked about coasting to the end and not really lowering the record, Bolt responded that he already had the world record. He came to the olympics to get the gold medal, and once he knew he had it, he celebrated. Did he ever.
Except to most professionals, there was something wrong about celebrating this event before one crossed the line. He gave up shattering the world record, and settled for just lowering it. I think the commentators are missing Bolt's point. His imagination was set on winning the gold, not lowering the world record. That he did both was an accident of doing the first. When he sets his imagination on shattering the world record, he will shatter the world record. He's only 21. He's got plenty of time. What he may wind up missing is the other competitors necessary to fuel the dream. Unlike Phelps who had some serious competition, this young man seems to be in a class of his own--like Tiger Woods.
And like Tiger Woods, who has admitted to 'willing the ball in the hole', these two young men have discovered the very reality changing potency of focused imagination. They are fore runners in one sense to the new version of humanity. Both Phelps and Bolt are members of a generation of young adults the New Ager's call the Crystals. These young adults are wired differently and have access to different mental and physical talents. ADD and ADHD are common amongst the Crystals. Phelps freely admits to ADHD, and the way Bolt celebrates makes one wonder.
Crystals have the capacity to change the way we view human potential, but they also don't view the world in the way older generations do. Bolt not caring about the world record is pretty typical. It's about the moment, not the future. It's about the main dream, not any other consequences. Employers for these reasons, amongst others, have real troubles with the Crystal kids. Once they've accomplished a given goal, they tend to move on. When they get captivated by a dream, such as Michael Phelps, they don't just move on, they shatter old perceptions.
It will be interesting to see how things move culturally once the Crystals get into politics and such. Catching a dream and shattering old perceptions is just what the culture needs--especially the Catholic culture. I think a number of Catholic Crystals have caught the Latin dream, but just wait, once they realize it's not that great a dream they may be the impetus for shattering some old perceptions. Besides, behind the Crystals come the Indigos and even more change in base humanity. The Indigos are even more difficult to fathom, as many of them are truly physically compromised. They seem to sacrifice physical competency for mental and psychic competency, but that's a different topic.
In any event Phelps and Bolt are two extraordinarily gifted athletes, blessed with potent imaginations. They also share one other common trait, an unfailing love for their single mothers. Wonder what that's about? It maybe that nurturing gifted Crystals is best left in the hands of female energy because real Crystals don't fit well in their peer groups or normal society. Training them for competition is a different story.