I went to Olympic Stadium on Thursday night to see Usain Bolt.
Not a track meet. But Usain Bolt.
That’s a problem for track and field and the Olympics.
First though, how about that long-legged Jamaican sprinter?
Lightning Bolt delivered when the gun went off, as he always does, winning the 200 meters with relative ease.
The only disappointment these past three Olympics has been: Where are the challengers?
He’s in that rare air where he’s psyched out his rivals in the starting blocks, leading to less-than-stellar starts from LaShawn Merritt and Andre De Grasse, while Justin Gatlin didn’t even make the final.
On a grander scale, though, where are the rivals for Bolt for Olympic attention — and no, we don’t mean you, Ryan Lochte.
Michael Phelps and Bolt say they are done, so who will be on the billboards and the cover of Sports Illustrated for Tokyo in 2020?
An aging Ashton Eaton? An unrivaled Katie Ledecky? Can Simone Biles stay on top that long?
There will be the next wave of swimmers and track athletes, but did enough athletes emerge in Brazil as the next stars?
I know what we will have though: More doping. More IOC foolishness. Some strange TV and/or real-time scheduling nughtmares because of vast time zone differences.
Plus, no more of Rio de Janeiro’s, ummm, irregularities to quench our appetite for mayhem… I mean stories.
The Olympics are the Olympics and will live on. But with a shortage of hype (read: dollars) coming four years from now, I predict we might see big changes after Tokyo.
Or, someone will come through as fast as a bolt of lightning and grip our attention once again.