Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

How Usain Bolt's Victory Predicts Obama's

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
How Usain Bolt's Victory Predicts Obama's

AP

Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates as he finishes first in the men's 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds.(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tie the Olympics to the presidential race. I’ve also been searching for the dumbest presidential statistic in existence. And I think I’ve found the answer to both.

The 100-meter run is the premier event of the Olympic Games. Historically, the United States dominated the event. But since 1976, when Hasely Crawford of Trinidad and Tobago became the first Caribbean sprinter to take home a gold medal, there has been a rivalry between American and Caribbean athletes. In every year an American has won the 100, a Republican has won that fall’s presidential race. In every year a runner born in the Caribbean has won, a Democrat has become president. I can’t explain this, except to suggest that the patriotic triumph of winning the Olympics’ showcase race may redound to the Republicans’ benefit. But here are the results. If you’re an Obama supporter, you should be glad Usain Bolt won.

1976:
100 meter winner: Hasely Crawford, Trinidad and Tobago
Presidential winner: Jimmy Carter, Democrat

1980:
N/A. U.S. boycotted the Olympics

1984:
100 meter winner: Carl Lewis, United States
Presidential winner: Ronald Reagan, Republican

1988:
100 meter winner: Carl Lewis, United States
Presidential winner: George Bush, Republican

1992:
100 meter winner: Linford Christie, Great Britain (born in Jamaica)
Presidential winner: Bill Clinton, Democrat

1996:
100 meter winner: Donovan Bailey, Canada (born in Jamaica)
Presidential winner: Bill Clinton, Democrat

2000:
100 meter winner: Maurice Greene, United States
Presidential winner: George W. Bush, Republican

2004:
100 meter winner: Justin Gatlin, United States
Presidential winner: George W. Bush, Republican

2008:
100 meter winner: Usain Bolt, Jamaica
Presidential winner: Barack Obama, Democrat

2012:
100 meter winner: Usain Bolt, Jamaica
Presidential winner: TBD

Leave Comments