These Commonwealth Games would have carried on without him. They probably would have thrived without him. Usain Bolt admitted so himself.
But as soon as the Jamaican emerged on stage to face a news conference packed with reporters and camera crews from around the world, there was a quick realisation that the remaining nine days would not have been quite the same without him.
There have been many who have put on a good show during the opening three days of these Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. But there has been a shortage of glamour.
The arrival of Bolt, the fastest man on the planet, changed all that.
Within an hour of touching down at the city's airport, after a long-haul flight from Jamaica via Gatwick, he was facing the Commonwealth's media.
Cameras were rolling, photographers were snapping, saucer-eyed journalists of every Commonwealth twang filled the auditorium. He would be heard.
The man himself, the six-time Olympic champion, was hiding behind a big, black curtain, sneaking a peek at his inquisitors while an organiser welcomed a captivated audience.
Five children, all from a nearby running club and all kitted out in yellow and blue athletics vests, walked up a few steps to the stage. They had only learned they'd be sharing the limelight with Bolt two minutes earlier. Until then, they had been kept in the dark, their parents telling them it was top secret.