A Bit Short of Inspirational


In this time of trouble, we need a laugh and Noah Lyles, a fast runner but not as fast as initially thought, provided it. Because of COVID restriction a number of sporting events have been postponed or cancelled including the Olympics. The spirit of the Olympics is to inspire us to be the best we can, Faster – Higher – Stronger and this does truly inspire many although not this year.

An alternative was set up with athletes basically competing by a ZOOM-like approach at different locations around the world and American Noah Lyles competed in the 200m in an apparent time of 18.90 seconds, a new world record that even he could not believe it and he was right. As it turns out he had mistakenly started in the wrong lane and thus run 15m less than others. He would have known that something was wrong as athletes at this level know what they are doing every second of the race. Obviously, this was his worst best day.

These errors do occur with the Darwin swimming pool being only 49.5m long, a small difference that will cost a lot to fix and Portsmouth, England have a pool 5 cm too short. It shouldn’t matter too much as demonstrated by Eric the Eel, in the Sydney Olympics, who had never before swum in a 50m pool. He did however win his heat, in the slowest ever Olympic time although this was helped by the fact that his two opponents fell in.

We need to look for the fun in life and enjoy these occasional small, 15m errors as everything is too serious at the moment. If we need to look for further inspiration, watch the Eddie the Eagle movie, telling the story of a very brave or perhaps stupid Ski Jumper, who although hopeless inspired everyone.

Dennis Fitzgerald,

Melbourne, Australia