Usain Bolt: the Fastest Man in the World

Usain Bolt at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Editorial credit: Petr Toman /
Usain Bolt at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Editorial credit: Petr Toman /

Usain Bolt’s official full name is Usain St Leo Bolt. He was born in Jamaican in a town called Trelawny, on August 21, 1986. Bolt held the record for being the first person ever to win both 100 m and the 200 m record after the full automation of time in athletics. Bolt is the current Olympic champion and the world champion in those events including 4 x 100 m race. It this because of his dominance that has led to many terming him as the fastest man ever to exist.

Early Life

During his early childhood, Bolt spent time playing football and cricket in the streets of their local town with his brother. Bolt’s first sprinting potential was discovered in a primary school called Waldensia that he attended as a child. He was the school’s fastest runner at the age of 12 and represented his school when they met annually for a parish competition. Even after joining high school Bolt majored in other sports until his cricket coach intervened and asked him to concentrate on sprinting. In the year 2001, bolt won a 200 m silver medal for the first time when he participated in the high school championship. At this time he was under coach McNeill who later became his olympic coach.


Bolt began full professionalism in 2004 under the guidance of Coach Fitz Coleman and his first outing was the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda. He then proceeded and took the world junior record in 200 meters running under 20 seconds. Bolt took part in the Athens Olympics in 2004 but was eliminated after the first round due to injury. In 2005, he acquired a new coach by name Glen Mills and this helped him develop a new attitude towards athletics. He was however not successful in the World Championship held that year in Helsinki as he was hampered by an injury. Bolt continued his hard work on the track and by the late 2005 and 2006; he was among the top 5 sprinters in the world. Bolt participated in 2007 World Championship winning a silver medal in the event. Bolt participated in various World Championship and Olympic games winning on many occasions.


Bolt was ranked among the top 5 athletes in the world in both 2005 and 2006. He then won a silver medal at the World Championship in 2007. Bolt became a world-record breaker in 2008 when he broke Tyson Gay’s record after running 100 m at 9.72 s. He then participated in the 2008 Olympics where he broke his own world record in 100 m by completing the race in 9.69 s. Bolt followed the year after by participating in the 2009 World Championship in Berlin where he broke his own record in 200 m by finishing in 19.19 s. In the 2011 season, Bolt was unbeaten in 100 m race and also in 200 m race. He is a 100 m gold medal winner in the 2012 Olympics and set a new record of 9.63 s in the process. He also defended his 200 m title in that year’s Olympics. Bolt won the 100 m race in 2016 Olympics becoming the first athlete to win in this event thrice in Olympic Games.

Challenges and Criticisms

Usain has had to battle a lot of injuries in his career that might have prevented him from achieving his full potential. Injury hampered his progress in the 2004 Olympics, in the world championship in Helsinki, and also in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Apart from injuries, Bolt has had to deal with critics as expected from any public figure. In 2008, he was branded to be a lazy athlete by some individuals who felt that he was not using his full potential. In 2010 his US rival Justin Gatlin criticized Bolt for opting out of the Olympic Games in London due to an injury.

Legacy and International Recognition

In the years 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016 he was recognized as the IAAF World Athlete of the Year. He is the Track and Field Athlete of the Year 2008 and 2009. He is the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the years 2008, 2009, and 2012. He is the L’Equipe Champion of Champions for the years 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2015. He is also the 2015 AIPS Male Athlete of the Year.

Is Jamaica's Usain Bolt The Fastest Man To Ever Live?

Usain BoltCareer Achievements
100m Personal Record9.58 (World Record)
150m Personal Record
200m Personal Record
19.19 (World Record)
300m Personal Record
400m Personal Record
Highest International Athletics Recognitions5-time IAAF World Athlete of the Year and 2-time Track and Field Athlete of the Year
Olympic Gold Medals
World Championship Gold Medals
Jamaican Honors System RecognitionCommander of the Order of Distinction and Order of Jamaica
Fastest Speed Ever Achieved
12.42 meters per second (44.72 kilometers per hour or 27.79 miles per hour)

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