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When weather and the world’s fastest human collide


Gary Archibald
Weather Broadcaster

Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 9:30 -

Call it perfect timing; the world’s fastest human being runs 9.77 sec in the men’s 100 metre world championship final in Moscow. Captured in a fraction of a second is an iconic shot of a great champion sprinter, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt – and a perfectly timed bolt of lightning above. Poetic indeed!

Lightning Bolt meets lightning bolt. 

The night sky had opened up over Moscow, Russia – thunderstorms soaked the outdoor climatic event at the track and field oval. Despite the inclement weather, the stage was set for yet another historic triumph and a most memorable picture of perhaps the greatest sprinter of all time. The stadium was packed no doubt as Usian Bolt alone is the major draw in the world of track and field. 

Professional photographer Olivier Morin had set his cameras up along the track for the monumental race; he admits that he could not have planned it any better; preparation was the key – Mother Nature took care of the rest. 

Compare and contrast: (both impressive stats!) 

Usain Bolt – 100 metre fastest time 9.58 sec (world record)* - fastest ever recorded 

Bolt of lightning – light travels at 186000 miles per second in a vacuum, slightly less in a medium such as our atmosphere (air).

Usain Bolt’s signature “lightning bolt” sign after the big win. (The Canadian Press)

Usain Bolt’s signature “lightning bolt” sign after the big win. (The Canadian Press)

See Olivier Morin’s account of this memorable photo at: http://blogs.afp.com/correspondent/?post/Two-lightning-bolts-strike-at-once.

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