Yesterday evening, our family arrived in Rome, Italy for the three-day CIMBA weekend. After checking in to our apartment, we asked the owner how to navigate quickly to Olympic Stadium – site of the 1960 Olympic Games. It turns out that she lives very close to the stadium and volunteered to drive us there on her way home. Last night Rome was hosting one of the major international track and field competitions of the year – the Diamond League. The highlight of evening’s events was the men’s 100m dash featuring Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the history.
Less than an hour after arriving in Rome, we were on our way to the stadium, with our personal guide easily navigating the chaotic traffic while pointing out landmarks along our route. I chose to just close my eyes and pump the imaginary brake in the passenger’s seat. We were dropped off in front of the stadium with 20 minutes to spare before the start of the opening events.
The evening’s competition more than lived up to our expectations. We were able to watch world-class athletes post some amazing performances. Of course, the biggest event on the schedule was Usain Bolt’s 100m dash. I have never witnessed a track and field athlete treated with the status of a rock star. Bolt entered the stadium on the back of a golf cart for a ceremonial lap of the track early in the evening. The crowd was electric. Bolt did not disappoint the crowd, winning the featured race with a 9.76 second world-leading time for 2012. As we were leaving the stadium my son said, “Now I will always be able to say I saw the fastest man in the world.” What an amazing night.