February 21, 2024
Kurt Benson

Noah Lyles is carrying Track and Field and bringing excitement back to the Olympic Games (2 minute read)

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The Olympics, a global event that happens every four years where the greatest athletes on earth come together for the ultimate battle to stand on the top step and be crowned a Gold Medal Olympic Champion. There's something about Paris 2024 that has a different type of energy in the Track and Field world.

Well, come to think of it, the last memorable Olympic Games were in Rio in 2016. That's because Covid robbed the world of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Even though they happened a year later, in 2021, it was hardly the Olympic Games the world is used to seeing; not only were fans robbed, but the athletes themselves were. You train so hard for four years only to have your Olympic memory tainted by a global pandemic, not knowing if you will ever qualify again.

The entire world is somewhat familiar with the Olympics; think about all the greats such as Michael Phelps, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, and Serena Williams, among many other legends. People from all around the world come together for events such as the 100M final, which lasts less than 10 seconds. Think about that athlete who has trained for years for one chance that lasts 10 seconds, not two halves or four quarters, nope, sub ten seconds. It's crazy.

At Tidal League, we have had the joy of working with some of the fastest people in humanity's history: Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt, and Elaine Thompson-Herah. All four of those names are the fastest humans of all time. Specifically, with Justin Gatlin and his co-host Rodney Green, we have created the home of all things track and field with "Ready Set Go." A weekly show that has the most decorated sprinter of all time and an experienced coach talk through the lead-up to Paris 2024. Already not even two months into the year, we have seen multiple meets, from the New Balance GP to the USATF Indoor Championships. It has been busy, exciting, and competitive across multiple events; we are gearing up for an epic Olympic year.

With Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin retired, the 100M Men's final has been vacant and almost forgotten since 2016, but that all changed with Noah Lyles winning three major events at the World Championships in Budapest last year. Noah ran with Justin Gatlin but was still evolving and was always known as a 200M sprinter and not a 100M sprinter.

Over the last 12 months, he has put the sport on his back and brought back the swag that's been missing for almost ten years. Noah has been daring, loud, and confident with how he's carried the sport; he has made headlines on and off the track. Think about last summer when he called out the entire NBA for declaring themselves as World Champions when, in fact, they're not. Or calling out all his opponents and telling them he's going to beat them in their strong spots, or manifesting how he's going to conquer Usain Bolt's records. Noah Lyles has been a light of optimism for the sport of track and field. It is a sport almost everyone in the world participates in at least once in their lifetime, but it is still viewed as an amateur sport filled with lots of flaws that ultimately the athlete suffers from and pays the price for. Now, that's an entirely other conservation that we can revisit, back to Noah.

As I mentioned, Noah Lyles, traditionally known as a 200M sprinter, has now become the World Champion at both the 100M and 200M, and for him to become a Champion in the 100M is impressive as most 200M sprinters have great top speed but lack starting speed, hence taking longer to get out the blocks in a shorter distance. So, without getting too technical on you, what Noah has accomplished is incredible, and this year, he has taken it even further and become the world-leading 60M sprinter as well. So, to put that into perspective, he is now not just dominating at 200M but even at 60M, which makes for a highly anticipated Olympic Games.

The last time we saw someone win the 100M and 200M final, it was Usain Bolt. Will Noah Lyles become the next sprinter to do this and perhaps break Bolt's records? We shall see, but what I can tell you is if he does win, he will become the first American to win the 100M final since Justin Gatlin did it in Athens in 2004. Twenty years later, and even better, you can follow along with Justin as he breaks it down weekly on "Ready Set Go."

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