I'm a legend, says Usain Bolt. No you're not, says IOC chairman Jacques Rogge

 

He will never be The Greatest. That accolade can be accorded to only one man: Muhammad Ali – and surely even Usain Bolt, would not argue with that. But who, now that he has become the first person to successfully defend back-to-back Olympic 100m and 200m titles, would challenge the sprinter's assertion that he is "a legend"?

The answer is the President of the International Olympic Committee. Following Bolt's magisterial victory on Thursday night, Jacques Rogge has hit out at the Jamaican's crowd-pleasing self-aggrandisement. "The career of Usain Bolt has to be judged when the career stops," said Rogge, citing the success of US runner Carl Lewis.

President Rogge, who sailed for Belgium in three Olympics has form for dissing Bolt. After the sprinter's double victory in Beijing Mr Rogge criticised Bolt's showboating claiming it demonstrated a lack of respect for the other competitors. "Let Usain Bolt be free of injury," Mr Rogge said. "Let him keep his motivation which I think will be the case... Let him participate in three, four games, and he can be a legend. Already he's an icon."

The IOC chief suggested Bolt needed to emulate Team GB's Ben Ainslie, whom he described as the "greatest sailor of all time" after his fourth successive gold at Weymouth, or Sir Steve Redgrave, winner of five. "You have to be there, you have to be at the top for almost 20 years which is a great achievement," said Mr Rogge.

American decathlon gold medallist Ashton Eaton also grumbled about Bolt hogging the limelight, saying: "I don't know what I have to do to get a profile like Bolt. Maybe a cool new pose."

Bolt, 25, spoke of running until he is 30 – but also of the threat from a new generation of runners, two of whom joined him on the podium, the fellow Jamaicans Yohan "the beast" Blake and Warren Weir.

But his appetite for the big occasion was clearly undiminished. Before lining up on the starting blocks he joked and chatted with the volunteer lane assistant, seeing her dissolve into laughter. "I said to her 'You nervous? Why?' and she was like 'I'm just so excited!' So that was pretty funny."

When he realised he was about to win the 200m but would not break his own record he broke the line with his fingers to his lips – seemingly a signal to his critics to be quiet. His celebrations went on and on – a display of the showmanship that continues to help draw millions of fans to athletics.

After crossing the line Bolt performed press-ups before a rapturous photography pack, before setting off on extended laps of the stadium, high-fiving many delighted spectators in the front row in the 80,000-strong crowd. At one point he even picked up a photographer's camera to take pictures of silver medallist Blake. The photographer was a Swedish snapper who had been pestering him to take a picture all week. The Swede had "been stressing me for the last three days," said Bolt. "He's always like 'Usain, Usain, take a picture, take a picture'." He was happy to oblige by turning the tables.

It then took the sprinter nearly two hours to navigate the round of post-TV interviews, and he eventually announced himself to the press contingent by calling for a drum roll.

Those hacks who waited until the early hours were not disappointed – in lively exchanges Bolt held forth on subjects from the Manchester United team and his own search for love to his desire to challenge Kenya's 800m world record holder David Rudisha in a 400m run-off.

Celebration: Snap happy Bolt leaves pressman picture to cherish

One photographer left the Olympic Stadium with a unique souvenir on Thursday night. After cruising to gold in the 200 metres final – and becoming the first man ever to win consecutive Olympic golds in both that event and the 100 metres in the process – Usain Bolt embarked on his customary celebrations. In addition, he grabbed a camera from one of the press snappers and proceeded to shoot a picture of Yohan Blake, his teammate and silver medallist across both distances at London 2012.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution