"This was my goal, to break it of course. One has to run under 10 seconds in order to be part of the world's best. I will be recognized as the first white man to run it, but today is mainly historical for myself! It's not about color, it's about hard work." Christophe Lemaitre said that the day he became the second legally non-West African by descent and first Caucasian to break the 10 second barrier for the 100 meter dash. Christophe Lemaitre was born on June 11, 1990 in Annecy, France. He specializes in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash and runs for France.
He started his track career in late 2005. He was spotted by a track coach in the village at Belley. In 2008 he went to the 2008 World Junior Championships in Athletics. Christophe won the 200 meter dash, running it in 20.83 seconds. In 2009, Lemaitre went to the 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships. Lemaitre won the gold medal in the 100 meter dash, and set a new Junior European record with a very fast time of 10.04 seconds.
In 2010 Lemaitre opened up the start of the outdoor season by going to the Aix-les-Bains meet and opened with a run of 10.09 seconds. At Venissieux meet he won, with a headwind and a time of 10.24 seconds. At the Franconville meet he ran at the French Club National Championships and clocked in a personal best of 10.03 seconds. At the 2010 European Team Championships he finished runner up against Dwain Chambers, but clocked in a new personal best time of 10.02 seconds.
On July 9th, 2010 Lemaitre finally broke the 10 second barrier with a new personal best time of 9.98 seconds, making him the fastest Caucasian male in history, and the 2nd athlete of non-West African descent to break the 10 second barrier. Lemaitre breaking this barrier is one of the few elites who ever have. Only 74 people in the world have broke this barrier.
Lamaitre is my hero because he did what was once thought impossible. He broke the 10 second barrier. They thought only West African descendents could, but he proved them wrong. I hope he becomes a beacon of hope for everyone of non-West African descent to take up the sport called sprinting, and put their countries on the proving ground. He passed the crucible, why can’t anyone else. Hopefully he’ll be an inspiration to Latinos, Caucasians, Asians and everyone else to take the sport seriously. I know he’ll be my inspiration for many years to come, along with other great sprinters like Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell. Hopefully Lamaitre will prove his metal, and go all the way to the top along with the other world class athletes. Lamaitre, you are MY hero.