I went to the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden when I was in high school. Had my camera bag with me. Saw a press pass on the ground. Picked it up. Tied it to my bag. And with all the confidence of a teenager, started following the other photographers heading toward the track. The security guard at the gate took one look at me, looked away, and let me in. He knew.
I was near the landing mat when Sergei Bubka set the pole vault world record. And in the press conference afterward when he saw me and threw me the tape off his wrist from that very vault. I was on the escalator standing next to Carl Lewis, at the time the most spectacular and perfect human specimen I’d ever seen. I met Edwin Moses, who, in my mind, is one of the greatest athletes to ever walk this planet. All because of the kindness of a stranger.
So when you watch these 40 seconds of Usain Bolt interacting with normal, everyday people — strangers — remember that all it takes is a moment of kindness to have a lifetime of impact.
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