The name Usain St. Leo Bolt needs no introduction in the world of sports. After all, he is without a doubt the world’s fastest man and the most naturally gifted athlete we have ever seen in recent years.
He is renowned for his prowess on the tracks, especially when it comes to sprints and other short races.
His record speaks for itself as he has rewritten the record books so many times, winning triple gold medals in three consecutive Olympics.
These epic achievements have not only elevated his status in society, but also turned him into a living legend.
Liked by many due to his natural charm and effortless cool, his journey to success was not a walk in the park. He went through numerous tribulations to earn his legendary status.
Here’s the story of a man who has wowed the world with his ruthless performances on the tracks.
Usain Bolt’s Early Life
Usain Bolt was born on August 21, 1986, to Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt in a small country village in Tralawny, Jamaica.
His early life is a story of humble beginnings. He did not have access to the best outdoor rubber mats or any advanced training equipment.
His parents managed a grocery shop in Sherwood Content as a way making ends meet.
Despite the fame and financial windfall that would later come their way, the family still lives a simple life in Bolt’s hometown.
His dad still runs the grocery shop in Tralawny, as a way of keeping himself busy and the family has no plans to move out.
Little is said about his two other siblings, Sadiki and Sherine, but apparently, athleticism seems to run in the family. His mother was a runner, while his brother is an astute cricketer.
His sister Sherine has kept her life out of the public limelight, only making rare appearances at events graced by her brother.
According to his mother, Bolt started portraying athletic traits from a very tender age. As the story goes, he tried to push himself up after falling over at only three weeks old.
He would later beat his mother in a race by the age of 10.
His started competing in school sports aged 12 years after joining Waldensia Primary and later William Knibb Memorial High School.
Although he had a preference for cricket, his high school coach felt that he was a better athlete. The coach encouraged him to compete in a 200m race at school and he won in 22.04 seconds.
That’s where his epic journey in sprints began!
Career and Notable Achievements
Following his escapades in high school, Bolt’s career began in earnest in 2001, when he participated in his first major international event at the IAAF World Youth Championship in Hungary.
Although he did not win the 200m race, he managed to set a personal best time of 21.73 seconds.
He announced his arrival at the world stage by winning gold in the 200m racing event at the 2002 World Junior Championship held in Jamaica, finishing the race in 20.61 seconds.
This feat catapulted Usain Bolt into celebrity status as apparently, his win was the host nation’s only individual gold medal. What is more amazing is that he achieved this aged 15 years only.
His career took an upward trend in 2004, when he participated in three events, including the CARIFTA Games, 2004 IAAF World Junior Championships and the 2004 Athens Olympics.
He broke the 200m World Junior Record at the CARIFTA games with a time of 19.93 seconds. However, his subsequent appearances at the IAAF Championships and the Athens Olympics were bedeviled by injuries.
His biggest break, however, came in 2008 when he first broke the 100m record clocking 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York.
He took the 2008 Beijing Olympic by storm announcing that he would participate in both the 100m and the 200m. He was certainly the favorite for the double, having broken the world record a few weeks earlier.
He went on to win his first triple Olympic gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4X100m, setting new records in the 100m (9.69s) and the 200m (19.30s) and the 4X100m relay (37.10s).
The celebrated track star further consolidated his status by trimming his own 100m record by 0.11 seconds to clock 9.58 second at the IAAF World Championship in Berlin.
He also set a new 200m world record at the same championship, clocking 19.19 seconds. The funny part is that he achieved this feat despite suggestions from his rivals that he was lazy.
In a rejoinder, he was quoted saying,
“Yeah, I’m lazy. There’s no doubt about that.”
only to go ahead and break the world record.
The most thrilling aspect about Bolt’s career is that out of 21 events he managed to win in 20 events, only missing out on gold the Championship in Daegu due to a false start.
He has also managed to win two other Olympic triples at London and in Rio, in the 100m, 200m and 1X400m relays. Despite his retirement, his records are yet to be beaten.
Perhaps the motivation behind his wins is how he approaches his races. He was quoted saying,
“Don’t think about the start of the race, think about the ending.”
Winning is all about training hard and focusing on the end goal.
No matter how much an athlete trains on their foldable tumbling mats, they cannot achieve success without focusing on the end goal.
Recent Years & Current Events
When not in the limelight, Usain Bolt loves the nightlife. He is an astute dancer and he has appeared in several Jamaican dancehall videos.
He also owns a magnificent restaurant that combines the best of Jamaican fusion, multiple sports bars and lounge areas. He is also an ardent football fan, and supporter of Manchester United.
Bolt does not fall short when it comes to philanthropy. The Usain Bolt Foundation benefits thousands of Jamaican youth in his hometown.
He also adopted a cheetah cub in 2009 in Nairobi and named him Lightning Bolt, as a way of contributing to Kenya’s wildlife conservation efforts.
It’s quite sad that Bolt retired at such an early age, but his fans appreciate that he did it at the twilight of his career. Bolt’s glittering career can only be summed up in one phrase; simply legendary!
It is therefore not surprising that he once said,
“I am a living legend, bask in my glory”.
Photos from: vverve / depositphotos.com, evyamcs / depositphotos.com.
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