And not JUST win gold, but blow away some extremely fierce
competition and obliterate Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world
record for the event.
At his first Olympics. While running in the outermost Lane 8 on
the track, where you can’t see anyone else in the race, and
from which no one has ever successfully won Olympic gold in
this event. That’s…kind of a big
And where did he get those cheekbones?
Also maybe, if I play my cards right, c) future husband.
NBC ran a pre-race Feelings segment on Niekerk before the 400m
that did exactly what it was supposed to, i.e. make me bawl
like a dang baby when he won.
Botha runs the track program, like the
total boss she is, at the University of the Free State in
Cape Town, where Niekerk was a student.
And for his mom, a former track athlete herself who
couldn’t compete internationally because of apartheid laws
in South Africa.
She, understandably, is
proud as heck.
Niekerk carried his country’s flag during the opening ceremony,
and then won South Africa’s first gold of the Rio games. After
said, “I have dreamed of this since I was a kid.”
Anyway, his coach’s reaction when he won summed up my own
feelings exactly. This stuff is why the Olympics are worth
So, if you missed Niekerk running last night, I highly suggest
checking out the race here.
And you can tune in to see him run for another medal
(hopefully) in the 200m final on Thursday.