A spoof, by Linda Chamberlain
World-class sprinter Usain Bolt is to learn the secrets of the horse world in a bid to stay at the top of his game.
The fastest man in the world was so impressed by the speed and performance of equine Olympians that he has decided to follow in their hoof steps. On the advice of medical experts, he is having a specially-made, metal attachment, much like a horse shoe, fixed to his trainers. The design of the attachment is a closely guarded secret but I can reveal that Bolt plans to wear them 24/7.
His trainers argue that the Jamaican athlete will get used to the metal shoes more quickly if he wears them all the time. They hope they will guard against slipping during competitions and minimise the risk of exasperating a troublesome tendon injury that has setback his training in the past. They also hope he will be able to sprint faster than a horse.
In an exclusive interview, Bolt said: ‘The shoes felt heavy at first and it took a while to get used to them. They’re coming off next week, so that will be a bit of a break.’
‘Oh, for good?’ I asked the 6 foot 5 inch star of the track.
‘No, only while I have my toe nails trimmed.’
Doubters have speculated that running on metal might be harmful for the athlete but Bolt is confident that medical advice is correct. He’s been told that running without them might have a detrimental effect on the physiology of his foot.
‘The doctors know what they’re doing,’ he said. ‘They must be right and those running tracks can be hard, you know.’
Supporters of the shoe say it can relieve many problems of the foot, including arthritic pain – as well as give support to painful heels and protect weak toe nails.
‘It’s true,’ Bolt said. ‘I don’t break my toe nails half as much as I used to.’
The Olympic authorities have given approval and other athletes are expected to copy the innovation. Bolt predicts that very soon there won’t be an athlete in the world without metal shoes.
In another daring move inspired by the horse world, Bolt is dramatically changing his lifestyle. Apart from the many hours spent in training and competition, he is to be confined to what his trainers describe as a focus room. There will be no TV, no space for friends and therefore no distractions. There’s enough room for his bed and he’ll be given an innovative ball to play with which lets out small amounts of food if he rolls it around the floor.
‘We never stop learning,’ said the runner who has been nicknamed Lightning Bolt. ‘You should have seen those horses at the Olympics. They were awesome and they were focused. If it works for them; it should work for me.’
He’s been confined to his focus room for two weeks and his trainers are pleased it is having the desired effect.
‘He can’t wait to get out on the track in the morning,’ said one of his training team. ‘Before the focus room he was much more laid back. Now he just wants to run; he doesn’t want to stop. It’s brilliant. He loves that room. At the end of the training session we put some of his favourite food in there and you should see him rush back in there.’
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Apply the ideology to a human and suddenly it makes you question the treatment of horses, doesn’t it?
Apologies to Usain Bolt for the above article. He seemed such a nice guy that I thought he wouldn’t mind his name being used to support a campaign to free equine athletes.
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