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Biography of Usain Bolt

Biography of Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is a world-famous Jamaican athlete. He has set the world records for the fastest time over distances of 100 m and 200 m, en route to 6 Olympic and 5 World Championship gold medals. Here's a look into this Jamaican sprinter's life and achievements.
Reshma Jirage

Bolt is in his home stretch. It's gonna be close ... Bolt, Blake, Gatlin and Gay battling it out, and BOLT! It's official, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on Earth! Take your hats off everybody, for the 2012 London Olympic 100-meter champion, Usain Bolt!

All of us must have heard some variation of this piece of commentary as the legendary Jamaican ran through to his 4th Olympic gold medal. Replace Gatlin and Gay with Weir and Spearmon, and it's exactly the same for the 200 m, his fifth Olympic gold. The contenders may change, but there's no stopping Usain Bolt. With his unprecedented 200 m victory, followed up by a world-record run in the 4x100 m relay by the Jamaican team, Bolt won his place among the very greatest exponents of athletics, if not the golden throne in that revered pantheon. In the week of Jamaica's 50th Independence Day, Usain Bolt gave his country one of the best gifts, fittingly won in England, Jamaica's rulers pre-August 6, 1962. It was a run of a champion, it was the run of a record-breaker, it was the run of a history-maker. Just another day in the office for Usain Bolt.
Quick Facts
Personal Details:

Name: Usain Bolt
Nicknames: Lightning Bolt, Bolt from the Blue
Nationality: Jamaican
Born: August 21, 1986
Place of Birth: Sherwood Content
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 210 lbs
Sports: 100 m, 200 m, 4x100 m relay

  • He is the fastest man in the world in the category of 100 m and 200 m.
  • He also holds, along with Jamaican teammates Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, the world record for the 4x100 m relay.
  • He is an ardent cricket fan and his favorite players include Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle, Waqar Younis and Matthew Hayden.
  • In a charity cricket match, he clean-bowled Chris Gayle, who later complimented Bolt's bowling.
  • Like most Caribbeans, Bolt is also a football fan, and supports Manchester United.
  • He is also fond of Reggae music.
  • He has indicated that he may take up running 400 m sometime in the near future.

Flying Jamaican:
At full speed, Usain Bolt's feet only touch the ground for 0.05 seconds per step. With a stride of 2.4 meters at full speed, Bolt needs about 41 steps to cross 100 m and 82 to cross 200. This means that his feet touch the ground for 2.05 and 4.10 seconds in the 100 m and the 200 m, respectively.

At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games the then-unknown Usain Bolt caught - by the scruff of the neck - everyone's attention by his outstanding performances. He won three gold medals, in the 100 m, 200 m and 4x100 m relay, and set world records in all of them, finishing in at 9.69 s, 19.30 s, and 37.10 s (team record), respectively.
He is the first, and as yet the only athlete to win gold in the three aforementioned events at the same Olympics. He then repeated the treble in the 2012 Olympic Games. Due to his achievements in short distance running, he is nicknamed as Lightning Bolt or Bolt from the blue. This short biography tables the facts about his early life, his career and achievements.
The Early Years

Usain Bolt was born to Jennifer and Wellesley Bolt. His birthplace is a small town known as Sherwood Content located in the Trelawny parish in Jamaica. He also has two siblings, a sister named Sherine and a brother named Sadeeki. Since a very young age, Bolt was obsessed with sports, primarily cricket and football. He later stated in an interview that sports was all he ever thought about. He attended Waldensia Primary and All-age School and William Knibb High School. While at Waldensia School, Bolt was honored as the fastest runner over 100 m. When he entered William Knibb High School, his cricket coach, impressed by his height and speed, insisted that he should try track and field events. Dwayne Barrett and Pablo McNeil, a former 100 m Olympic athlete, guided him about improving his athletic abilities. In 2001, Bolt won his first silver medal in the 200 meters with a time of 22.04 seconds at the annual high school championships. Although he was a gifted sprinter, he never actually considered turning professional during his initial career, and had a promising career option as a fast bowler.
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Early Competitions

Bolt displayed his personal best of 48.28 seconds in the 400 meters and won a silver medal at the 2001 CARIFTA Games, a Caribbean regional event. He also finished the 200 meters in 21.81 seconds and achieved a silver medal. Bolt's debut in a world level competition was at the 2001 IAAF World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. He didn't qualify for the finals of the 200m event, but he set his personal best of 21.73 seconds. He set the record of 20.61 seconds and 47.12 seconds finishes at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships, respectively. Bolt moved to Kingston with the support of P.J. Patterson, the Prime Minister of Jamaica then, who saw the potential that this young athlete possessed.
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Rising Star

At the age of 15, Bolt won a gold and two silver medals at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston. He was a subject of attraction due to his exceptional height of 6'5" and his extraordinary performance. He set his new personal best of 20.16 seconds in the 200 m. Bolt also displayed a shining performance in the Jamaican sprint relay team, achieving two silver medals. He set national junior records in the 4x400 m and 4x100 m relays by finishing in 3:04.06 minutes and 39.15 seconds, respectively. He won a gold medal at the 2003 World Youth Championships and set a new record of 20.40 seconds in the 200 m. In his final Jamaican High School Championships in 2003, he broke the records in both the 400 and 200 meters, with 45.30 seconds and 20.25 seconds, respectively.
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Professional Career

Usain Bolt became a professional athlete in 2004 under the guidance of his new coach Fitz Coleman. He started with the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda, where he was the first junior sprinter to run the 200 m in less than 20 seconds and broke the world junior record, previously held by Roy Martin. Bolt lost the opportunity to compete in the 2004 World Junior Championships due to a hamstring injury. However, he was selected for the Jamaican Olympic Squad, but was eliminated in the first round of the 200 meters due to a leg injury.
In 2005, Bolt got a fresh start under the guidance of his new coach Glen Mills. He scored the season's best finish of 19.99 seconds for the 200 meters at the London's Crystal Palace in July, the same year. Bolt reached the top 5 on the world rankings in 2005 and 2006. He set his new personal best at the 2006 Grand Prix in Lausanne, Switzerland, setting the record time of 19.88 seconds. Bolt got his first major world medal at the IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany. He won a bronze medal by finishing in a time of 20.10 seconds. He achieved his first senior international silver medal in the IAAF World Cup in Athens, Greece. In 2007, he finished the 200 m in 19.75 seconds at the Jamaican Championships and broke the record of Don Quarrie by 0.11 seconds. He won silver medals in the 200 m and 4x100 m relay at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. On May 31, 2008, Bolt established a new world record at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York. He ran the 100 m event in 9.72 seconds and broke an earlier record of 9.74 seconds set by Powell.
After winning the 100 m, the 200 m and, along with his Jamaica teammates, the 4x100 m relay, all in world-record times, Usain Bolt scaled unprecedented heights in the 2009 Berlin World Championships, making a new 100 m world record of 9.58 seconds. He also broke his own 200 m record made in 2008 by 0.11 seconds, this time bringing it down to 19.19 s. Due to his remarkable performance, he was also honored as the IAAF World Athlete of the Year in 2008 and 2009. Although he couldn't make any new world records in 2010, Bolt comfortably won the 2010 IAAF Diamond League. Bolt wanted to break the 300 m record set by Michael Johnson in the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, but he couldn't do so due to an injury in his Achilles tendon. After the recovery from the injury, which took a month, he came back to the track field and comfortably won the 100 m at the Athletissima meeting in Lausanne. He also defeated Asafa Powell in Paris at the Meeting Areva. However, he lost the race to Tyson Gay at the 100 m finals at the DN Galan. The year 2011 was a mixture again. In the 2011 Daegu World Championships, Bolt was disqualified in the 100 meters finals because of a false start. He won the 200 meters in 19.40 s. He also won a gold medal in the 4x100 meters relay, setting the world record of 37.04 s, along with teammates Yohan Blake, Michael Frater, and Nesta Carter.
In the months leading up to the 2012 London Olympics, Bolt was widely criticized for supposedly not taking the competition seriously. After being pipped to the top spot at the Jamaican trials by Yohan Blake, there was widespread doubt over Bolt's ability to defend his 2008 titles. However, Bolt later said that losing to Blake was a wake-up call just before the Olympics and it helped him 'get his head in the game'. At the London Olympics, Bolt made history by becoming the first athlete to defend both the 100 m and 200 m Olympic titles, in addition to the 4x100 m relay, as part of the Jamaican team. The closest anyone had ever come to that achievement was Carl Lewis, who won the 100 m and the 200 m in the 1984 Olympics, and the 100 m in 1988.
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Medal Haul

Event Discipline
2012 London Olympics (Gold) 100 m
2012 London Olympics (Gold) 200 m
2012 London Olympics (Gold) 4x100 m relay
2011 Daegu World Championships (Gold) 200 m
2011 Daegu World Championships (Gold) 4×100 m relay
2009 Berlin World Championships (Gold) 100 m
2009 Berlin World Championships (Gold) 200 m
2009 Berlin World Championships (Gold) 4×100 m relay
2008 Olympics Beijing (Gold) 100 m
2008 Olympics Beijing (Gold) 200 m
2008 Olympics Beijing (Gold) 4 x 100 m relay
2007 Osaka World Championship (Silver) 200 m
2007 Osaka World Championship (Silver) 4 x 100 m relay
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Bolt is well-known for his frank, candid interviews as well as his speed records. After winning the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics 100 m (a race in which 7 of 8 contestants ran under 10 seconds) amidst widespread doubts about his fitness and attitude, he said of his critics, "All they can do is talk. I said it on the track". In the same Olympics, he won the 200 m gold and then declared that he "is now a legend", a claim refutable by few.
He is sometimes criticized for his laid-back attitude, especially for slowing down in the last moments of a race to celebrate, and practical jokes (he once hid in a van before the 200 m final), but who cares? He still continues to marvel us all with his magnificent speed and performance. He will undoubtedly continue with the same magnificent performance in the upcoming competitions. He is undoubtedly the fastest man on earth, but if you think you have seen enough, wait, because more surprises and more records are coming your way from the "Lightning Bolt"!