Sport Other Sports Comm Games needed a superstar, now they have one

Comm Games needed a superstar, now they have one

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The Commonwealth Games needed a name. In walked the biggest. The fastest – The Bolt.

But if he could have bolted from his own media conference, it seems as though at certain moments he would have jumped at the chance.

We’ve now learnt, thanks to some questions from a heaving crowd of journalists at the Games press centre, that he absolutely will not be drawn on how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that he doesn’t know about the Scottish independence vote.

Nor would he like to wear a kilt. But he will, absolutely, pose for selfies with journalists.

Many have called the questioners star-struck, but they were motivated by publicity, not pandering.

The selfies he did are on Twitter. They will underpin media campaigns that depend on images going viral.

They have, by their own measure, already succeeded. The questions that were preceded by, “Hi Usain, you’re live on (insert name of radio station here)”, will be put into station promos and repeated endlessly.

The questions about world politics reflect the fact that if he’d actually had a rush of Bolt-blood and expressed an opinion, it would have been replayed by news sources far more credible than we’re prepared to admit.

And it’s not just about the media and its occasional self-serving silliness and sycophancy. It’s about celebrity and the power it lends.

The Games organisers themselves know the value of it, with the absence of many other stars; they’ve courted it, and it will pay off. Millions more people may watch the Games just to see how he runs on his first race of the season.

By the way, he’s no longer injured. He doesn’t know what his racing form is yet. He’ll run in the relay heats. He likes the Commonwealth Games.

And, if he were to wear a kilt, red is not his colour of choice.