Ward Room
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How Usain Bolt's Victory Predicts Obama's

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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