My pick for most heartbreaking performance of the Olympics: Tyson Gay in the men’s 100m.
He’s one of the very few elite sprinters who doesn’t have a gigantic ego (just look up any of his interviews on YouTube). He seems like a genuinely nice, humble guy.
He’s a former World champion and oh yeah, the second faster man ever, after Usain Bolt.
Despite his speed, he didn’t win any medals at the 2008 Olympics. He injured his hamstring at trials and didn’t make it the Olympic 100m finals, and the US 4×100 team (of which he was a part) botched the relay handoff and didn’t medal there either.
This time around, he was 29, in his last years as a elite sprinter. All he wanted was a medal:
But he didn’t get one. He ran the fifth fastest time in Olympic history — and yet finished fourth in this race. By one-hundredth of a second.
And the third place guy, Justin Gatlin, was previously banned for four years for drug use. Gay has never been implicated in any drug usage.
It was terrible to see him sobbing after it was over.
In the aftermath, it’s things like this that are the most telling:
A funny page, and I have to admit Bolt’s routine was hilarious. But look at how nervous Gay was. You can tell how much was riding on this race for him.
There is a potential silver (gold?) lining: the 4×100 relay. The US men are still in it, and with Powell injured, there’s a chance they could beat Jamaica. Go Tyson!