Retro: Costas And The Fastest Man Alive Heist Of 1996

With Bob Costas on mute during the Eagles-Cowboys halftime show (I was reading a book), I was reminded of a comment he made at the 1996 Olympics. In the aftermath of Canada's Donovan Bailey winning the 100 meter dash, it felt as though the Americans were in shock. After all, it was a track discipline they essentially ruled for decades.

Costas seemed to confirm this feeling after Michael Johnson won the 200 meter dash proclaiming him to be the 'fastest man alive.'

Up until that point, the winner of the 100 meter dash was considered to hold that distinction. Suddenly, Costas - one of the 'Gatekeepers' of sports journalism - decided it was no longer the case.

Of course, this led to intense debating for a time. But these days, that's mostly restricted to the running and track communities. No one disputes that, for example, Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive.

I found Costas's position to be bizarre at the time.

More importantly, I reckon, it was a most ungracious moment from Costas.

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