Before you get any ideas, he did not literally drape anyone. He draped them with his words.
Bolt said this to Reuters recently: “I don't think it is going to get any better because I think these youngsters are a little bit spoiled,” This was in reference to our male athletes' overall drive towards training and competing.
Later on in his interview, Bolt would mention that the future looks bright for the females because they are more driven than the males. In essence, he was saying that the female athletes had more determination towards what they wanted to achieve in life. He alludes to the fact that the female eagerness for upward social mobility is a pulley for their success. However, the males appear to be lackadaisical. Popular coaches Glen Mills and Stephen Francis have also echoed this sentiment.
This leads me to think though… is this our own doing… our is it that male athletes just lack ambition? By me saying it is our own doing, what I am thinking is, maybe all the praise that is heaped up on these athletes, especially the male ones gets to their head. With surging levels of testosterone and accolades and titles being heaped as early on as high school, it may very well be easy for them to get a bit cocky and not do so well professionally. We have seen numerous cases where athletes with so much potential just seem to fall off, with the majority of the cases being on the male side. As a male however, I can say that although this is a possibility, not all of us are like that. Not all of us are so easily swayed by praise. But then, what else could it be?
Should we take what Bolt said literally and generally ascribe a lack of ambition to males? No. I am certainly not ambition-less for one, and I know several other males just like me. I am no athlete, but I know athletes with boatloads of ambition, who are willing to go the extra mile. It therefore also leads us to question whether other factors are coming into play. Maybe it isn't just praise that we're heaping on earlier that is the problem, maybe it is exhaustion. Is it possible that we are 'burning out' our athletes? Is the 'supernova' effect, as it is called, true?
Whatever the answers may be, I agree with Bolt on the fact that the future for our male athletes look shaky. I don't know if they're spoiled, but coming from the mouth of the GOAT (greatest of all time) I am led to believe him. He certainly knows what it took for him to be a champion, so he can tell if the due diligence by other athletes is not being observed. It is therefore incumbent on us to now find solutions. Let us not pretend like we never worried about Bolt not having a successor. The feeling is not new. However, it is not too late to rekindle the spark of Jamaican male athletics.
I sincerely hope that now Bolt himself has brought the issue to the forefront that we can address the concerns and figure out the true problems that lie. It's time for another flash of lightning. We need another Bolt.
-- Fabrizio Darby