There is fast and then there is fast. Via Malcolm Gladwell, from Bleacher Report:
Watch Usain Bolt Tie NFL Combine 40-Yard Dash Record at 4.22 Seconds
TIMOTHY RAPP, FEBRUARY 2, 2019
Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time, is 32 and a couple of years into retirement (not that his career was all that exhausting, either). So he shows up for various Super Bowl promotional events and in one of them he runs a 40-yard-dash, the NFL’s standard measure of speed.
The record at the NFL Combine (where top college players come to be objectively evaluated for the draft) is John Ross’s 4.22.
For some reason, the 40 yard dash typically uses obsolete hand timing, rather than the electronic timing used in the Olympics since 1968. So specific 40 yard dash times should be taken with a grain of salt.
Bolt, who is 6’5″, was assumed early in his career to be a natural 200 meter man on the grounds that very tall runners take longer to get into gear. But he proved dominant at both the 100m and 200m.
One interesting thing about Bolt is that while it’s easy to assume that he’s the ultimate sprinter, the fastest any human could be, his form is odd: he hits the ground significantly harder with one foot than another. So maybe somebody faster could come along who simply runs symmetrically? Or maybe this whole symmetry thing is overrated?