The title “fastest man alive” is commonly issued as a substitutive nickname for The Flash, DC comics’ renowned superhero character. However, the title is also utilized as an alternative description of Usain Bolt, accredited Olympic athlete and professional sprinter! Bolt has been competing athletically for many years and has earned a reputation for his exceptional footspeed and stamina. In 2016, he competed internationally in the Summer Olympics alongside thousands of other athletes, and, by the competition’s conclusion, he had accumulated not only multiple medals accentuating his performance, but also heightened awareness and popularity among Olympic fans and spectators!
Brief Biographical History
Usain Bolt was born in Jamaica on August 21st, 1986, to Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt. His passion for athletics was fostered at a young age in the streets of his hometown where he, along with his brother and sister, grew up immersed in a variety of sporting activities. Bolt’s true talent for speed was recognized in the early years of his life. By the time he had reached his teenage years, Usain Bolt was attracting attention in various regional competitions and championships. In high school, he was encouraged to seriously pursue track and field as his athletic specialty to help him hone his agility and endurance.
He achieved a wholesome height of 6 feet and 5 inches at the age of 15, allowing him to separate himself distinctively from his other competitors. Bolt’s opportunity to prove himself to the entire world came in the form of the 2002 World Junior Championships. At this competition, he won the 200 meter dash, making him the youngest world-junior gold medalist in history. His time for this event was 20.61 seconds, which sets his average speed at ~9.7 meters per second, or 21.7 miles per hour. Talk about fast!
Previous Olympic Involvement
In 2004, Usain Bolt officially launched his professional athletic career. Among his beginning conquests in this year were the CARIFTA Games and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Unfortunately, Bolt would not make a strong statistical impression in this, his first Olympics, due to a leg injury. While he still performed briefly in Athens, he was eliminated early and unable to cover any ground in the competition. 2005 brought a fresh perspective to Bolt’s athletics, but repetitive leg injuries continued to hamper his abilities in multiple competitions.
The 2008 Olympics could alternatively be referenced as “the year Bolt struck back.” With several world records under his belt and a history of consistently remarkable performance, was more than prepared to take Beijing by storm. He even had the support of Michael Johnson (200 and 400 meter record holder). Bolt qualified for the 100 meter with times of 9.92 and 9.85 seconds, and went on to win the 100 meter final with an even greater time of 9.69 seconds. Bolt’s performance here earned him another broken world record, though by now, no one should have been surprised at this athlete’s incredible talent and skill.
Following an astounding performance at Beijing in 2008, complete with 3 gold medals, Bolt continued to compete in multiple world championships and Olympic Games over the next several years. London’s 2012 Olympics saw this exceptional sprinter 3 more gold medals, as well as broken personal and professional records in multiple categories. The fastest time on a 100 meter dash is still held by Bolt today, clocking in at about 9.58 seconds. Indeed, very few people would discount Bolt as the fastest human runner on the planet.
2016 Summer Olympics Overview
Rio’s 2016 Summer Olympics were particularly critical in Bolt’s athletic career. As expected, his performance was admirable and inspirational, and he claimed the last 3 gold medals of his professional Olympic career for the Men’s 100 meter, 200 meter, and 4×100 meter relay. With 9 gold medals across 3 separate Olympic Games and a 100% 1st place finish record, Usain’s 12-year reign of Olympic track and field is truly something to behold.