Willing suspension of disbelief, …. or too good to be true?

If you’ve never heard of the first expression, it is what movie/TV folk talk about needing to engender in an audience.

i.e. you know that the killer didn’t REALLY chop off their heads with that chain saw, but you willingly stop thinking about all the special effects and just jump out of your seat.

Well, it happens in sports too.

Perhaps you heard that the “amazing” Usain Bolt broke the world record in the 100 meter dash this weekend at the world championships in Germany.

He ran a 9.58.

His previous world record was 9.69.

However, he had lowered the last record to not be held by him, from 9.74.

So, in about a year, he has lowered the world record by .16 of a second.

Why the willing suspension of disbelief?

Well, he lowered the world record by a greater amount than had ever been achieved since the advent of electronic timing in 1977.

Even more unbelievable was the fact that since that 1977 change in the rule, the record had gone from 9.93 to 9.74. A total of .19 seconds. However that was done by 13 different races. A total of 6 different runners. Calvin Smith, Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell, Donavan Bailey, Maurice Greene, and Asafa Powell.

Each and every one of these runners has been somehow linked to drug use, whether through associations, disallowed tests, etc.

Is it humanly possible that ONE man could be such a genetic freak, such an awesome improvement on the human species that he could do more in one day than has been done in 30 years?

Unlikely.

It brings to mind an article I wrote here before the Olympics in which a Chinese company was advertising that for $20K they would engage in genetic alterations to improve athletic performance.

Have we seen the first truly “bionic” man.

I have no doubt. Whatever he is using, and remember, there is currently an investigation of the Jamaican Olympic team with several suspensions already handed down, is so advanced, that there is no test for it yet.

This is truly frightening stuff.

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