Love him or hate him, you can’t help but show respect for what Usain Bolt has accomplished on the Olympic track.
Few athletes command the attention of the world like Bolt does as he places his golden spikes on the starting block and prepares to fend off all challengers in the 100m sprint.
Bolt on Sunday became the first person to win three straight Olympic 100-meter titles, blowing down the straightaway in 9.81 seconds for his seventh overall Olympic gold and captivating everyone watching with not only his speed but with his antics around the track.
As he crossed the finish line, he pointed at his own chest with his thumb a step before he crossed the finish line.
A split-second later, Bolt raised the index finger, signaling he’s still No. 1, and then the real party began.
Bolt unlaced his now-famous gold spikes and took barefoot selfies with fans in the near-capacity stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Then, he turned his yellow hat backward, kneeled down and gave the crowd what it really wanted: The arching "To the World Pose.”
Chants of "Bolt, Bolt, Bolt" rang out from the near-capacity stadium.
"It was brilliant," Bolt said. "I didn't go so fast but I'm so happy I won. I told you guys I was going to do it."
Earlier in the day, running in red spikes, Bolt cruised to a semifinal win in the 100m, and seemed to look over at the finish-line camera and smiled, showing just how aware he is of the entire media circus around him.
In the words of a famous movie star gladiator, “Are you not entertained?”
Bolt delivered the theatrics, as well as the speed, on this night in Rio.
What will he do for an encore? Bolt has a chance for two more golds -- in his favorite race, the 200 final Thursday, then in the 4x100 relay Saturday night.
No matter what the outcome, everyone will be watching. And Bolt will make it worth their while.
Bolt turns 30 the day of the closing ceremony and has insisted his Olympic days are over.
"Somebody said I can become immortal," Bolt said. "Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal."