Usain St. Leo Bolt, OJ, CD, OLY ( born 21 August 1986) is a retired Jamaican sprinter, widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time. He is the world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres, and 4 × 100 metres relay.
An eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, and 2016). He also won two 4 × 100 relay gold medals. He gained worldwide fame for his double sprint victory in world record times at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which made him the first person to hold both records since fully automatic time became mandatory.
An eleven-time World Champion, he won consecutive World Championship 100 m, 200 m and 4 × 100 metres relay gold medals from 2009 to 2015, with the exception of a 100 m false start in 2011. He is the most successful male athlete of the World Championships. Bolt is the first athlete to win four World Championship titles in the 200 m and is one of the most successful in the 100 m with three titles.
Bolt improved upon his second 100 m world record of 9.69 with 9.58 seconds in 2009 – the biggest improvement since the start of electronic timing. He has twice broken the 200 metres world record, setting 19.30 in 2008 and 19.19 in 2009. He has helped Jamaica to three 4 × 100 metres relay world records, with the current record being 36.84 seconds set in 2012. Bolt’s most successful event is the 200 m, with three Olympic and four World titles. The 2008 Olympics was his international debut over 100 m; he had earlier won numerous 200 m medals (including 2007 World Championship silver) and held the world under-20 and world under-18 records for the event until being surpassed by Erriyon Knighton in 2021.
His achievements as a sprinter have earned him the media nickname “Lightning Bolt”, and his awards include the IAAF World Athlete of the Year, Track & Field Athlete of the Year, BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year (three times), and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (four times). Bolt was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2016.[ Bolt retired after the 2017 World Championships, when he finished third in his last solo 100 m race, opted out of the 200 m, and pulled up injured in the 4×100 m relay final.
Bolt was born on 21 August 1986 to parents Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt in Sherwood Content, a small town in Jamaica. He has a brother, Sadiki, and a sister, Sherine.His parents ran the local grocery store in the rural area, and Bolt spent his time playing cricket and football in the street with his brother, later saying, “When I was young, I didn’t really think about anything other than sports.” As a child, Bolt attended Waldensia Primary, where he began showing his sprint potential when he ran in his parish’s annual national primary school meet. By the age of twelve, Bolt had become the school’s fastest runner over the 100 metres distance. Bolt also developed an affection for European football teams Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Upon his entry to William Knibb Memorial High School, Bolt continued to focus on other sports, but his cricket coach noticed Bolt’s speed on the pitch and urged him to try track and field events. Pablo McNeil, a former Olympic sprint athlete, and Dwayne Jarrett coached Bolt, encouraging him to focus his energy on improving his athletic abilities. The school had a history of success in athletics with past students, including sprinter Michael Green. Bolt won his first annual high school championships medal in 2001; he took the silver medal in the 200 metres with a time of 22.04 seconds. McNeil soon became his primary coach, and the two enjoyed a positive partnership, although McNeil was occasionally frustrated by Bolt’s lack of dedication to his training and his penchant for practical jokes.
When Bolt was a boy, he attended Sherwood Content Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trelawny, Jamaica, with his mother. His mother did not serve pork to him in accordance with Adventist beliefs.
Usain Bolt Height Weight Age Body Statistics Biography
He was then coached by a former sprinter named Pablo McNeil who had previously participated in Olympics.
Bolt’s first major international sporting event was the ‘IAAF World Youth Championship,’ which was held in 2001 at the Hungarian city of Debrecen. Although he failed to emerge victorious in the 200m qualifier event, he managed to finish the event in 21.73 seconds, which was his personal best at the time.
He then went on to participate in the 2002 ‘World Junior Championships.’ In this international event, held at Kingston, Jamaica, he managed to win the 200 meter event by completing the race in just 20.61 seconds.
He made waves in the world of sports by delivering an extraordinary performance at the 2003 ‘CARIFTA Games.’
During the ‘Jamaican High School Championships,’ which was also held in 2003, Bolt re-wrote the previous records of 200m and 400m running events by completing the events in 20.25 seconds and 45.35 seconds, respectively.
2004 turned out to be a major year in Usain’s career as he participated in three events, namely ‘CARIFTA Games,’ ‘World Junior Championships,’ and the famous ‘Athens Olympics.’
Although he was praised for his remarkable performance in the ‘CARIFTA Games,’ he failed to do well in the 200m Olympic qualifier event due to an injury that he had suffered.
Bolt teamed up with a new coach named Glen Mills in 2005. The latter tried his best to make Usain more professional than he was earlier. Under Glen’s mentorship, he registered a win in a 200m event where he finished the race in just 19.99 seconds.
In the same year, this upcoming sports star participated in the 2005 ‘World Championships.’ In the event, he fared much better than the way he did in the running events held in 2004.
This athlete was looking forward to the 2006 ‘Commonwealth Games,’ but had to back out of the event due to a severe injury to his hamstring.
Although his career suffered for the most part of 2006, he emerged victorious at the ‘IAAF World Athletics Final’ event, held in Germany that year.
He then traveled to the city of Osaka in Japan to participate in the 2007 ‘World Championship.’ Although he managed to cover a distance of 200m in 19.91 seconds, his performance was overshadowed by his contemporary Tyson Gay’s exceptional 19.76 seconds finish.
Though many felt that Usain lacked sufficient experience to participate in the ‘Beijing Summer Olympics,’ which was to be held in 2008, he silenced his critics by qualifying for the 100m final event. Bolt achieved path-breaking success when he won the 100m final by completing the race in just 9.69 seconds, becoming a world-renowned icon. He also won the 200m final with a new Olympic record of 19.30 seconds. He won his third gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in 4x100m relay.
At the 2009 ‘Berlin World Championships,’ he created world records in both 100m and 200m events. He won the 100m race in 9.58 seconds and the 200m race in just 19.19 seconds. He also won a gold medal in the 4x100m relay race, but his team failed to better its own record.
At the 2011 ‘World Championships’ held in Daegu, Bolt was eliminated from the 100m finals due to a false start. He came back strongly to win the gold medal in the 200m event, finishing the race in just 19.40 seconds. He then partnered with his Jamaican teammates to set a world record time of 37.04 seconds in the 4x100m relay.
He participated in the 2012 ‘Summer Olympics’ and created history to become the first man to successfully defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic sprint titles. He also won the 4x100m relay race and achieved the ‘Double Triple,’ taking his overall Olympics medal tally to six gold medals. He won the 100m race in 9.63 seconds and the 200m race in 19.32 seconds.
At the 2013 ‘World Championships’ in Moscow, he once again emerged victorious in the 100m and 200m events, winning the races in 9.77 seconds and 19.66 seconds, respectively. He also won the gold medal in the 4×100 meters relay final, becoming the most successful athlete in the 30-year history of world championships.
At the 2014 ‘Commonwealth Games,’ he did not participate in the 100m and 200m events as he had previously suffered a hamstring injury. He participated in the 4x100m relay and helped his team win gold.
At the 2015 ‘Beijing World Championships,’ he once again won the 4x100m relay, 100m, and 200m events in 37.36 seconds, 9.79 seconds, and 19.55 seconds, respectively. He also joined Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene by winning a record three 100m world titles, and recorded his fourth consecutive win in the 200m event at the ‘World Championships.’
At the 2016 ‘Rio Olympics,’ he once again won gold medals in the 4x100m relay, 100m, and 200m events and took his overall Olympics medal tally to nine gold medals. He won the 100m in 9.81 seconds, 200m in 19.78 seconds, and 4x100m relay in 37.27 seconds.
After the 2017 ‘World Championships,’ where he finished third in his last 100m race, Bolt retired from track and field.
He then began training with the Australian A-League club ‘Central Coast Mariners’ as a left-winger. He scored twice for the team in a friendly match, but left the club the next month and chose not to pursue a career in football.
Usain Bolt At Olympics – In a Nutshell
Usain Bolt has participated in four Olympics and has won nine gold medals.
At the 2004 ‘Athens Olympics,’ his performance was hampered by a leg injury and he was eliminated in the first round of the 200-meter event.
At the 2008 ‘Beijing Olympics,’ he won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay, finishing the races in 9.69 seconds, 19.30 seconds, and 37.10 seconds, respectively.
At the 2012 ‘London Olympics,’ he once again won three gold medals. He won the 100m event in 9.63 seconds, 200m in 19.32 seconds, and 4x100m relay in 36.84 seconds.
At the 2016 ‘Rio Olympics,’ he won gold medals in all three track events and achieved the ‘triple-triple.’ He won the 100m event in 9.81 seconds, 200m in 19.78 seconds, and 4x100m relay in 37.27 seconds.
Awards and Achievements
Bolt received his first honor in the form of a silver medal in 2001, during one of the championships held in school. He won another silver medal at the ‘CARIFTA Games’ which was held in the same year.
In the 2002 ‘World Junior Championships,’ he won the gold medal, becoming the youngest person to do so.
He received four medals in the ‘CARIFTA’ games held in 2003. This is considered to be an incredible feat.
His phenomenal performance in the 100m event at the 2008 ‘Summer Olympics’ helped him win his first gold medal.
He won another gold medal in the ‘World Championships’ event held in 2009.
His winning spree at the Olympics continued in 2012 as he won a gold medal yet again.
Personal Life & Legacy
One of Bolt’s favorite childhood memories is the days he spent playing cricket and football with his brother Sadiki.
Bolt revealed his humanitarian side to the world when he contributed US$50,000 to the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
He is a self-confessed football freak who supports the famous club ‘Manchester United.’ He is also an ardent supporter of Dutch football player Ruud Van Nistelrooy.