Usain Bolt Biography

Usain Bolt is one of the world’s most celebrated sportsman with a record-breaking tally of nine gold medals at three consecutive Olympics of 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Bolt was gifted ever since he took up sprinting as a junior, but burst onto the World scene with a seemingly effortless dominance of the 100m and 200m final at the Beijing Olympics.

Bolt’s appeal has transcended sport, due to his charismatic and laid-back approach. In a sport riddled with allegations of drug use, Bolt has retained a clear record, although he lost one relay gold when a team-mate was retrospectively banned.

Early life
Usain was born on 21 August 1986 in Sherwood Content, a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica.

As a youngster he was mostly interested in sports, spending time playing football, cricket and basketball.

At one time he considered a career as a cricketer but, his natural talent for sprinting shone through, and so he was encouraged to take sprinting more seriously.

At 15 years old, Usain already towered over his fellow competitors. Growing to a height of 6 foot 5 inches, Bolt showed a sprinter need not be short and powerful like previous sprinting greats.

In 2002, he won Gold at the World Junior Championships in the 200 metres. At this stage in his career, Usain appeared to give the impression of being quite laid back. He didn’t lead an austere disciplined life but enjoyed dancing and the night-life of Kingston, Jamaica. However, he was still training hard and won Gold at the World Youth Championship in the next year at 2003.

In 2004, Bolt turned professional, under the guidance of new coach Fitz Coleman. He began his career with the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda. He became the first junior sprinter to break 20 seconds for the 200 metres.

By 2005, Usain had a new coach Glen Mills who encouraged Usain to take a more professional approach and not just rely on his natural talent. Over the next few years, injury setbacks curtailed his career, but, he was still able to climb the rankings.

His big breakthrough came in the 2007 World Championships where he gained silver in the 200m and 4*100 metre relay. Bolt established a new 100m world record on 31 May 2008. Pushed on by a tailwind of 1.7 m/s, Bolt ran 9.72 s at the Reebok Grand Prix held at the Icahn Stadium in New York City, breaking Powell’s record.

2008 Olympics
Usain Bolt went into his first Olympic Games as one of the favourites, despite his youth and inexperience at major championships.

Usain Bolt proved to be the revelation of the games. Easing through to the finals of both the 100m and 200m, he set the games alight with his electrifying display in both finals. In the 100 metres final, Usain powered ahead so quickly in the first 60m; he was able to ease off and celebrate in the last few metres. His dominance, audacity and youthful enthusiasm captivated the global audience. In some quarters, he was criticised for celebrating before the finish line. But, Bolt’s dominance and speed were unquestioned. His time of 9.69s was a world record, and if he had kept going to the end, he could have perhaps gone under 9.60 In the 200 metres, Bolt again won gold and even more surprisingly broke Michael Johnson’s long-standing world record. By the next World Championships in Berlin 2009, Bolt was able to again dominate all the sprint events – winning a clean sweep at the 100m, 200m and 100m relay. Again he set remarkable World Record times, lowering the time for 100 metres to 9.58 and 19.19 for 200 metres. On the last day of the Berlin Championships, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, presented Bolt with a 12-foot high section of the Berlin Wall in a small ceremony, saying Bolt had shown that “one can tear down walls that had been considered as insurmountable.”

2012 Olympics
Bolt won three gold medals, despite being beaten by his training partner, Yohan Blake during pre-Olympic events at the Jamaican national championships. Bolt won the 100m and 200m and was part of the team that set a new world record in the men’s 100m relay.

2013 World Championships
At the 2013 World Championships, Bolt again won a unique triple of gold at 100m, 200m and 100m relay.

Usain Bolt in 2014
Bolt’s 2014 season was marred by injury which reduced his racing programme. Bolt has stated that his body has become more prone to injury as his athletic career progresses. In the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Bolt chose not to run in the individual 100m, but he did compete in the 100m relay. Bolt anchored the team to a gold medal and proved to be the star attraction of the games.

2016 Olympics
Bolt’s run up to the 2016 Olympics was not ideal with frequent injury problems curtailing his racing and training. However, he was determined to finish with a flurry and announced he would retire shortly after the 2016 Games.
Bolt was the undoubted superstar of the Games, and despite poor attendances in Rio, Bolt always managed to attract a full crowd. Bolt again managed to win gold in all three events – the 100m, 200m and 100m relay. It was a perfect bag of nine Olympic golds – a feat never before achieved.

Bolt has announced that he will retire from athletics after the 2016 Olympics.
Usain Bolt and drugs
Usain Bolt has shown tremendous talent ever since he first started running. His timings are consistent with an athlete of tremendous talent. As Bolt himself says:

“I was the youngest person to win the world juniors at 15. I ran the world junior [200] record 19.93 at [17] … I have broken every record there is to break, in every event I have ever done. “For me, I have proven myself since I was 15. … I have shown everything throughout the years since I was always going to be great.”

Usain Bolt is regularly tested by the IAAF international testing pool and has never tested positive. However, inevitably given the history of the sport, questions have been raised about the issue of drug use. The biggest cause for concern has been from the perceived inadequacies of the Jamaican Athletic Federation. In 2013, it emerged that they had failed to undertake proper out of competition testing in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. This failure to implement proper drug testing was compounded by six Jamaican athletes – including the former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell-Brown, testing positive for banned substances. WADA announced an extraordinary audit of the Jamaican testing programme, and have even threatened to ban Jamaican athletes from international competition. (link) Bolt has frequently stated that he is clean
“I was made to inspire people and to run, and I was given the gift and that’s what I do,” the six-time Olympic champion said. “I am confident in myself and my team, the people I work with. And I know I am clean. “So I’m just going to continue running, using my talent and just trying to improve the sport.”

In Jan 2017, it was announced that Bolt’s teammate, Nesta Carter, from the 2008 Beijing Olympics had retroactively tested positive for a stimulant methylhexaneamine, and therefore the whole team were stripped of their gold medal.
Bolt retired after the 2017 World Championships in London. In his last major 100m final, Bolt finished in 3rd place – slightly off his usual blistering pace, after an injury-hit year. In his last ever race, he was anchor leg in the 4x100m final. After receiving the baton he pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury and hobbled over the line.

Since retirement, he has been involved in setting up Jamaican food outlets in the UK. So far, he has insisted he has no plans to return to the track.
Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Usain Bolt”, Oxford, UK – Last updated 20th January 2018.

Usain Bolt World Record Video
Bolt wins in 9.58 to beat his own record
Personal Bests
100m: 9.58 s (WR, Berlin 2009)
150m: 14.35 s (WB, Manchester 2009)
200m: 19.19 s (WR, Berlin 2009)
400m: 45.28 s (Kingston 2007)
Olympic Results
2008 Beijing
Gold – 100 m
Gold – 200 m
Gold – 4×100 m relay
2012 London
Gold – 100 m
Gold – 200 m
Gold – 4×100 m relay
2016 Rio
Gold – 100 m
Gold – 200 m
Gold – 4×100 m relay
World Championships
2017 Bronze – 100m
2015 Gold – 100m
2015 Gold – 200m
2015 Gold – 4x100m relay
2013 Gold – 100 m
2013 Gold – 200 m
2011 Gold – Daegu 4×100 m relay
2011 Gold – Daegu 200 m
2009 Gold – Berlin 100 m
2009 Gold – Berlin 200 m
2009 Gold – Berlin 4×100 m relay
2007 Silver – Osaka 200 m
2007 Silver – Osaka 4×100 m relay
Faster than Lightning: Usain Bolt

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