Every Olympic Gold medal is special, but the one most coveted goes to the winner of the men’s 100m champion, for with the medal comes the title of World’s Fastest Man. A year prior to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Bailey of Oakville, Ontario, proved world’s fastest at the 1995 IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Goteborg, Sweden, winning the men’s 100m, while also contributing to Canada’s victory in the 4x100m relay. A world championship brings great honour, but an Olympic Gold medal is unparalleled. Bailey was slow out of the blocks when the pistol blasted the start of the 1996 Olympic 100m final, but the 28-year-old Canadian accelerated through every stride to win the Olympic marquee event in a world record 9.84 seconds. Eight days later Bailey ran the anchor leg as Canada upset the favoured American foursome to win the men’s 4x100m relay final.

Wendy Long

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