Greatest with ease

WASHINGTON - ONE inch begins here. This ONE goes out to the ONE I love. (File under fire) This ONE goes out to the one I left behind. A simple prop to occupy my.

TWO inches begins here. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. A Tale of TWO Cities. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done before.

THREE inches begins here. Commander, tear this ship apart until youve found those plans, and bring me the passengers; I want them alive. Apology accepted Captain Need. You can tell him yourself.

FOUR inches begins here. Happiness is a warm gun. Ive got blisters on my fingers. You say you want a revolution. The fad FOUR. In an octopus garden. Paul is dead. John. Paul. George.

FIVE inches begins here. Point to point point observation. Children carry reservations. Standing on the shoulders of giants . . . leaves me cold. A hundred million birds fly away.

SIX inches begins here. Spackle. Super model. Spaghetti. Syringe. Serum. Salad. Satchel. Smock. Sun-dried. Soup. Simplistic. Statistics. Sandwich. Sorry.

SEVEN inches begins here. Antarctica, North America, Asia, Europe, South America, Australia (Ocean) and Africa. SEVENTH Heaven. Greed, sloth, gluttony, lust, pride, envy and wrath.

EIGHT inches begins here. Octopus. Octagon. October. (August?) The Big EIGHT. Octave the octoroon. October Revolution. Crazy EIGHTS. How many English words are octosyllabic?

NINE inches starting right here. The square root of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square roots of the two legs of a right triangle. Pi is 3.14.

TEN inches starts here. Northwestern. Ohio State. Penn State. Purdue. Wisconsin. Iowa. Illinois. Indiana. Minnesota. Michigan. Michigan State. Can you add? The people at the Big TEN cant.

ELEVEN inches here. See this amp. All the numbers go up to ELEVEN. So when your playing at ten, and you want that extra something, you can go to ELEVEN. Why not just make ten louder?

TWELVE inches here. Aries. Taurus. Scorpio. Gemini. Capricorn. Sagittarius. Aquarius. Leo. Virgo. Cancer. Pisces. Libra. Are you into that zodiac stuff?

THIRTEEN inches starting about here. The road goes ever, ever on. Why did Gallup jump? Because Fred gave him the finger. When the thrush knocks. I am Thor, King under the mountain.

FOURTEEN inches here. I've never done this before. You've never lied on the ground __ before? No, I mean, I've never done what were about to do before. Oh, that's OK. I lied to you too.

FIFTEEN inches. FIFTEEN birds in five fir trees. What shall we do with the funny little things? Fellowship following the foolish fighters. When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.

SIXTEEN inches begins at this point here. SIXTEEN Candles. The Breakfast Club. Pretty in Pink. Whatever happened to Molly Ring career? And Anthony Michael Halls?

SEVENTEEN inches here. SEVENTEEN is a magazine written for fourteen year old girls, but what about the Tiger Beat readers? Remember Joey Lawerence? He was HOT!

EIGHTEEN: The right of citizens of the United States who are EIGHTEEN years of age or older to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state

Beijing — After treating the Olympic Games 100-meter finals with a calm not seen before on this otherwise august occasion, dare it be suggested that Usain (Lightning) Bolt is capable of challenging the world record in the 200 of 19.32 seconds by Michael Johnson from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics?

With the 6-foot-5 Jamaican as the new paradigm in sprinting, why not?

”I'm not really worried about world records,“ Bolt said in the aftermath of his world-record time of 9.69 seconds in the 100 on Saturday night at the Bird's Nest. ”My aim is to come here and win. That's the aim. I have a lot more time to think about that.“

Bolt has a day to rest Sunday before returning to the track on Monday morning for rounds in the 200, thought to be his best event because of his height. That assessment will have to change now, after he destroyed in short order one of the greatest 100-meter fields in history, in which six men bettered 10 seconds.

Bolt's long stride eats up the track as surely as it leaves his competitors grasping for superlatives. He might make more mockery of the 200 in the finals on Wednesday night. While it takes him a little longer to get going in the 100, a rocket start is not essential in the 200. His best time of 19.67, set in July, ranks sixth all-time.

”The way his stride pattern goes together in the first 40 meters is amazing,“ said American Walter Dix, a well-beaten third in 9.91 in Saturday night's historic 100 finals. ”You have to give it to him. I'm not going to say he's the epitome of a sprinter. There are many different kinds of sprinters.“

Yes, but none like this 21-year-old force of nature who toyed with the 100 finals at the Bird's Nest and still emerged with a world record of 9.69 seconds despite easing up to celebrate his victory 20 meters before it became official.

”A lot of people believe you had to be short and stocky to be a sprinter,“ said Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, the silver medalist in 9.89. ”Usain is defying that at 6-5. This is the beginning of something else to come.“

Exasperated track fans, and quite possibly his coach, were left to consider what Bolt might have run had he raced the full 100 — 9.60? 9.55? He might have taken the record down to a level only he could challenge in the foreseeable future.

”He does what he has to do to win,“ said Herb Elliott, not the great Australian middle distance runner but the team physician for the Jamaican team. ”You guys from the States like to quote Vince Lombardi: "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.' He could probably go faster. I don't think he has an idea. He came here to win, and he won.“

At 21, Bolt is the youngest Olympic 100-meter champion since Bob Hayes of the United States in 1964. Assuming his best years are yet to come, Bolt's legacy could be a lasting one unless he's merely the vanguard of a new generation of tall, long-striding speed merchants.

Famed baseball philosopher Satchel Paige wouldn't know what to make of Usain Bolt. The young Jamaican adheres to Paige's third rule for staying young — ”Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move“ — but he stands in contravention of some of the others, namely, ”Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood,“ ”Avoid running at all times“ and lastly, ”Don't look back — something might be gaining on you.“

The World's Fastest Man is no paragon of nutrition. Asked what he ate on his day of days, Bolt said ”nuggets,“ presumably Chicken McNuggets from the McDonalds at the Olympic Village. He went for nuggets twice on Saturday.

Bolt avoided running in the last 20 meters in the race and took the time to look to his right, spread his arms in celebration and pound his chest as he canted across the line fully two-tenths ahead of the next man, Thompson.

It was the largest winning margin in an Olympic finals since Carl Lewis won by .20 at Los Angeles in 1984.

”I was celebrating. I was happy,“ Bolt said in explaining his in-race behavior. ”I wanted to be champion, and that's what I came out to do. I wasn't worried about the world record. Didn't know I got the world record until after I ran the victory lap. My aim was to be Olympic champion, and I did that.“

And the thought of something gaining on Bolt is laughable once he reaches top-end speed — indeed, if he ever bothered to shift into overdrive at any point in the race.

”I was here to compete,“ he said. ”This means a lot to my country — the first Olympic gold medalist in the 100.“

Bolt was seventh out of eight in reaction time out of the blocks, 0.165 seconds compared with the 0.133 of the more conventionally built Thompson and Dix. But Bolt got into his long stride pattern quickly, had the lead at 40 meters and by 80 had shut down his jets to celebrate in-race.

”I just went out there to win,“ Bolt said. ”I executed my race right. I have to give a lot of credit to my coach, working with my start and first 30. I was having fun. That's just me. I like to have fun. I like dancing a lot. You guys should figure out I've been doing that all season. I like to enjoy myself and stay relaxed.“