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The world's reaction to Usain Bolt's Rio hookup reveals a huge double standard.

The dizzying flurry of news about Usain Bolt’s conquests is moving as fast as his feet. Today, photos have emerged of him kissing a third girl in Rio.

Yes, that’s on the same night he reportedly twerked with a clubber and ended up in bed with a student.

The Jamaican Olympic star undoubtedly has a lot to celebrate. He’s written himself into history books by scooping an unprecedented treble gold win in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay for the third time in successive games. And, if that wasn’t enough, he was also celebrating his 30th birthday.

It would be easy to hop aboard the Bolt carnival float and get swept along with the jubilant wild fanfare. After all, he’s the fastest man alive, an optimistic, brilliant showman, and we love him for it.

nós viemos , nós vimos , conquistamos Rio eu tenho amor infinito para você. nós nos” #euestoufora

A photo posted by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) on

Who else would be serenaded by carnival-clad dancers on stage? Which other athlete would sing an impromptu rap with a Norwegian journalist who declared undying love?

We all beamed, watching in wide-eyed awe as he repeatedly smashed his races. Then we chuckled at the video of him dirty dancing to ‘Work’ at a Rio club on his birthday blowout, with smiles on our faces.

This morning, alongside photos of his latest passionate encounter, one excitable news headline joked, “Usain Bolt wins another triple!” It was then it dawned on us we have a problem in supporting the rampant celebrations. What’s the problem? Usain has a long-term girlfriend.

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To be fair, we didn’t know he had a girlfriend until just a few days ago. It’s certainly not a relationship we’ve been long invested in – if getting invested in famous folk’s relationships is your thing.

A photo posted by Kasi J. Bennett (@kasi.b) on

He had kept his romantic life private until his Jamaican girlfriend, Kasi Bennett, sent the Internet into a spin after posting messages of support to him on her social media accounts, including her 30,000 followers on Instagram.

After Bolt won his triple gold medal haul she posted, “respect the legend.” On Twitter she’s affectionately described him as “My Boss” and “My babbbbbbbbbbbyyyyyyyyyyy!!!”

When asked about the relationship, Usain confirmed they’ve been dating for more than two years and in an Instagram post four months ago he referred to them as “President and First Lady”. Bolt’s sister, Christine Bolt-Hylton, added to the hysteria by revealing the two would likely get engaged.

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It was all going so well. We were just starting to wrap our minds around our favourite sportsman having a long-term girlfriend and then he wrapped his thrusting jeans, arms and lips around a string of other women.

Who knows what his relationship with Kasi is like; we certainly don’t know what “rules” he and his girlfriend play and love by. Perhaps she’s totally fine with his birthday escapades. That’s actually not our business.

But, what is our business is our reaction to him merrily kissing other women when we know he has a girlfriend. Is it really appropriate to be whistling, cheering and leaping around our living rooms clapping and waving flags?

 
The image that started it all. Image: Jady Duarte/Whatsapp
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Either cheating is okay or it’s not. That same rule has to apply to everyone; male, female - and outstanding Olympic athletes alike.

We can’t be offended and outraged when some people cheat and not others. A collection of Olympic medals isn’t a hall pass.

As much as we all love to cast heroes and villains in life, it’s hypocritical to dish out excuses to our favourites and berate those we aren’t so fond of.

Samba!!!! #Rio2016 ????????????????

A photo posted by Usain St.Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) on

If this were an AFL player, we’d be coming down on him like ten tons of footballs. Can you imagine the livid, raging headlines? They certainly wouldn’t be high fiving them for winning “another triple”.

So, we either have to stop clapping and cheering, or we cut the next guy (or girl) who gets frisky on a night out some slack. Which is it to be?

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Featured image: Whatsapp screengrab

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