Usain Bolt - Track Atheletics
Born on August 21, 1986 in Trelawny, Jamaica, Usain Bolt is a sprinter whose blinding speed has utterly shocked the world and redefined the limits of the human body. Bolt not only wins his competitions; he decimates the entire field, leaving enough room between his distance and second-place that he can actually look back to view the field as he crosses the finish line.
Breaking the world record—shattering, more like it—in the 100 and 200 meter events, along with setting a record with his Jamacian team in the 4x100 relay, Usain is the type of athlete that only comes around once in a generation. As he prepares to enter the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, no one doubts that he will repeat his dominating Gold-medal-winning performance.
According to some experts who follow athletes and athletics in general, some individuals are simply born to excel in specific fields. Usain Bolt seems to perfectly fit this description. He was a talented runner while still in Waldensia Primary School, long before having any training or even any desire to compete. Before Bolt was even a teenager, he was already running in meets for his parish, and when he was only 12, he broke the school’s record in the 100m.
Even still, Usain didn’t take to sprinting. It just happened to be a gift he had. Bolt wanted to play other sports, primarily cricket. But once his coach witnessed his pure speed, he urged Bolt to redirect his attentions to the area of track and field. In 2001, while Usain was still in high school, he won his first sprinting medal – silver in the 200m. That same year in the CARIFTA Games, Usain would take home silver again in the 200m, competing for his country.
Bolt’s rise to dominance began in 2002 via the World Junior Championships. He would win the gold in the 200m, the youngest to ever do so, and from there the expectations grew wildly. Bolt would follow this up at the 2003 CARIFTA Games with four gold medals, and then another gold medal at the World Youth Championships that same year.
After a slew of successes in the junior circuit, Bolt turned pro in 2004, debuting at the CARIFTA Games. The first junior pro to ever finish the 200m in under 20 seconds, Bolt won the Austin Sealy Trophy (his second) and was on his way to the World Junior Championships before injuring his hamstring. In the Olympics that same year, Bolt’s injury was re-aggravated and he had a very disappointing finish.
With a new coach and new outlook in 2005, Bolt hoped to turn things around, but after numerous injuries and a car accident, Usain’s next few years were spent primarily on rehabbing his injuries and trying to stay in running shape. He had to withdraw from major competitions in 2006, not returning to form again until 2007, where he would win silver at the World Championships but miss out on gold.
In 2008, finally healthy and back to true form, Bolt silenced all critics with his now historic run at the Beijing Olympics. He not only won the gold in the 100 and 200m events; he set a standard of excellence. Still healthy, Bolt hopes to repeat those results this year in London.
Bolt then "re-defined everything", by following up that impressive performance with a successful defense of his 200 metres gold medal with a time of 19.32 seconds, followed by fellow Jamaicans second-place Yohan Blake at 19.44 and bronze medalist Warren Weir at 19.84.
With this, Bolt became the first man in history to defend both the 100 m and 200 m Olympic sprint titles. In fact, Bolt was so comfortably ahead near the finish that he was able to slow down, put his left finger to his mouth and "tell everyone to shush." As soon as Bolt crossed the finish line, he did five push-ups, one for each of his Olympic gold medals. Following the race, eighth place finisher Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa compared Bolt to a "ghost" who "disappears in front of you". When asked about his greatness as a sprinter following his victory, Bolt placed himself in the category of Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali, in their respective sports.
- 2002 CARFITA Games – Gold (3), Silver (2)
- 2003 World Youth Championships – Gold
- 2003 CARFITA Games – Gold (4)
- 2004 CARFITA Games – Gold (3)
- 2005 CAC Championships – Gold
- 2007 World Championships – Silver (2)
- 2008 Olympic Games – Gold (3)
- 2009 World Athletics Final – Gold
- 2011 World Championships – Gold (2)
- 2012 Summer Olympics – Gold (2, 1 team)