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Ato Boldon Discusses The Bolt Effect For “The Inside Track”, June 12, 2010, New York

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Four-time Olympic medalist and current broadcast analyst Ato Boldon takes on one of the most talked about global sports figures for today’s “The Inside Track” guest column: Usain Bolt. Boldon discusses the impact his fellow Caribbean sprinter has had on the sport and what it’s meant to see Bolt rise to the top. “The Inside Track” is a six-part guest columnist series that will serve as a prelude to the adidas Grand Prix on Saturday, June 12, at Icahn Stadium in New York City.

Boldon, who will serve as the sprint broadcast analyst for NBC’s live coverage of the adidas Grand Prix, points to Bolt’s carefree approach to racing as one of the keys to his success: “Post-race posing is something track fans have been used to for years. Bolt has introduced the world to pre-race posturing, and yet, somehow has not alienated or irritated track and field fans or all of his competitors.”

He says Bolt’s attitude—in addition to the fact that his rise to greatness can be traced throughout his youth—as evidence for why Bolt’s performances should not be looked at through “dirty-urine-tinted glasses:” “In my days as an athlete, I competed against most of the sprinters who turned up guilty of doping in the last decade. All had one thing in common: a seeming lack of real joy in competing. Bolt is the exact opposite.”

In addition to Boldon, other guest columnists include : Steve Holman, American Olympian and a former 3:50 miler; Dick Patrick, former USA Today athletics beat writer; Mary Wittenberg, New York Road Runners president and CEO; Jocelyn Robiot, Vice President Global Sports Marketing for adidas International; and Sebastian Coe, four-time British Olympic medalist and current chairman of the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

The adidas Grand Prix, in its sixth year, is the nation’s premier outdoor track & field invitational meet. It features Olympic stars, the Jim Ryan Dream Mile for top high school athletes and the Mayor’s Cup Fastest Kid competition for youth in the tristate area. Increased and upgraded backstretch seating at track level is being added to accommodate the growing demand and interest from fans in the New York area.

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