He is the fastest man to ever walk the planet but simultaneously as laid back as Garfield the Cat on a Sunday afternoon. King of the Sprint, Usain Bolt, retained his 100m title at the London Olympics, laughing in the face of his doubters. He achieved a new Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds and cemented his place in sporting history. It was also the second fastest time ever, behind his own world record set in Berlin in 2009. And he maintains that he was “only 95% fit”. Not bad for someone feeling a bit peaky...
He seems to accomplish the impossible in a way that appears almost effortless, and his blasé attitude towards the magnitude of these achievements is what we’ve all grown to love. In his record breaking 100m win at Beijing 2008, Bolt was so far ahead of the pack that he had enough time to slow to a light jog, beat his chest in celebration, and send a text to his mum to tell her he’d nailed it.
Even his name denotes his swagger and panache. ‘Bolt’ seems almost custom-made for his speed and his charismatically chilled out image. The enigmatic Jamaican has multinational brands scrapping to use him in their campaigns. He currently earns $20million a year and is set to earn even more now he has added to his Olympic gold stockpile. His signature ‘lightning bolt’ pose after each of his races has fans mimicking him around the world. What his sponsors have realised is that everyone wants to be this man.
|I certainly do, anyway...|
It seems as though he can do no wrong. Usain prepares for an Olympic final race by waking up at midday, chomping on a box of chicken nuggets, having a little go on Call of Duty then making his way to the packed stadium. Following a dip in his performances in May, Bolt blamed ‘burning the candle at both ends’… and everyone seemed to completely understand.
This guy loves a party and has been spotted countless times skanking the night away in various hotspots all over the globe, never seeming fazed about his coaches finding out. Even though he’d insisted there would be no celebrations until after his final race in this year’s Olympics, he posted a picture on Twitter of him toasting his gold medal win with the Swedish Women’s handball team. Because Usain Bolt can do what he wants.
|Why not, eh?|
The Jamaican speed demon crashed his BMW just weeks before the 2009 championships in Berlin, needing an operation on his foot. He was out of training for almost a month in order to recover but still went on to break three world records at the event.
After all he has achieved on the track; you wouldn’t think that Bolt is thinking too much about quitting athletics. That said, he continually hints at wanting to play football for Manchester United. He claimed that if Sir Alex Ferguson came calling he’d find it ‘impossible to say no’. I suppose he already has one foot in the door as a coach, he even gave pre season sprint training to Cristiano Ronaldo before his move to Real Madrid! He couldn't be worse than Heskey, anyway...
Whatever his discipline, Bolt comes across as that guy at school who we all wanted to be like. Good at sport, popular with everybody and a physique that rivals that of a Greek God; this guy has it all- and then some.
By Jack Briden