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Usain Bolt: The world’s fastest man

“Anything is possible I don’t think limits.”

Usain St. Leo Bolt, OJ, CD, is a Jamaican Olympic and world sprint champion who is arguably the fastest man in the world, and the greatest athlete alive. Bolt also known as Lightning, is a triple gold medalist at the past three Olympic Games (2008, 2012, 2016). At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, he became the first man in Olympic history to win both the 100-meter and 200-meter races in times that are “literally thirty years ahead of what they historically should be”. Along with his teammates, he also set the world record in the 4×100 metres relay. He is the reigning Olympic champion in these three events, the first man to win nine Olympic gold medals in sprinting, and an eight-time World champion. He was the first to achieve a “double double” by winning 100m and 200m titles at consecutive Olympics (2008 and 2012), and topped this through the first “double triple” (including 4×100 m relays).

Usain Bolt was born in Jamaica on August 21, 1986. Both a standout cricket player and a sprinter early on, Bolt’s natural speed was noticed by coaches at school, and he began to focus solely on sprinting under the tutelage of Pablo McNeil, a former Olympic sprint athlete. His story began at the national schools’ championship, better known as “The Champs,” in Jamaica. As early as age 14, young Usain was opening eyes with his lightning speed from regional championships to national meets set in Kingston to meets in the wider Caribbean.

In July 2002 at the IAAF World Junior T&F Championships in Kingston, he won a gold medal in the 200m in 20.61 seconds. He left that meet with three medals including two silver medals in the relays, anchoring the 4x100m team and was part of the 4x400m team as well.

That was the start of a meteoric climb to the top that also saw him winning two IAAF Rising Star awards.

He then reached the world Top 5 rankings in 2005 and 2006. Unfortunately, injuries continued to plague Bolt, preventing him from completing a full professional season.

The year 2007 proved to be a breakthrough one for Bolt, as he broke the Jamaican national 200-meter record held for over 30 years by Donald Quarrie, and earned two silver medals at the World Championship in Osaka, Japan. These medals boosted Bolt’s desire to run, and he took a more serious stance toward his career.

Bolt announced that he would run the 100-meter and 200-meter events at the Beijing Summer Olympics. In the 100-meter final, Bolt broke the world record, winning in 9.69 seconds. Not only was the record set without a favorable wind, but he also visibly slowed down to celebrate before he finished (and his shoelace was untied).

At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, held in London, Bolt won his fourth Olympic gold medal in the men’s 100-meter race, beating rival Yohan Blake, who won silver in the event. Bolt ran the race in 9.63 seconds, a new Olympic record. The win marked Bolt’s second consecutive gold medal in the 100. He went on to compete in the men’s 200, claiming his second consecutive gold medal in that race.

He is the first man to win both the 100 and 200 in consecutive Olympic Games, as well as the first man to ever win back-to-back gold medals in double sprints. Bolt’s accomplishments have made him the first man in history to set three world records in a single Olympic Games competition.

Bolt was sidelined in 2014 for much of the year by injuries as he raced at only three events. Prize money is almost non-existent in track and field, but Bolt ranks among the world’s best-paid athletes thanks to sponsorships and appearance fees that are dramatically higher than any other track star. Puma is his chief sponsor in a deal worth $10 million a year through the 2017 World Championships. He has a global ambassador deal in place with Puma in retirement worth as much as $4 million a year through 2025. Bolt commands a fee of $250,000 to appear at an event.

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