Usain Bolt top speed: Evolution of Olympic sprinter's pace highlighted in video


Usain Bolt is quite simply a phenomenal athlete who thrilled millions worldwide with his speed and his infectious personality.

An eight-time Olympic gold medallist, the Jamaican gained worldwide fame after a double sprint victory in world record times at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Bolt is the only man in history to win the Olympic 100m and 200m races at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, 2016,) an unprecedented achievement by a generational talent.

Bolt is the son of grocers in Jamaica’s rural Trelawny parish, and during his teenage years excelled in cricket as a fast bowler. He’s an avid football fan and has made no secret of his passion for his beloved Manchester United, but having caught wind of his speed, his high school coaches steered him towards track and field.

Bolt first established himself as a potential great at the 2002 World Junior Championships, winning gold in the 200m sprint in front of a crowd of 36,000. He was just 15 years of age at the time and set the record for becoming the youngest male junior champion in any event.

By 16, Bolt cut the junior 200m world record to 20.13 sec, and at 17 he ran the same event 19.93 seconds - becoming the first teenager to do so.

Consistently improving, it became clear to those around Bolt that he was destined for greatness - and he would duly fulfil his potential on the biggest stage of them all.

At the 2008 Olympic Games, Bolt became the first man since America’s Carl Lewis in 1984 to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in a single Olympics, setting world record times in the process.

A momentous occasion in which the world stood up and took notice, making Bolt a household name.

Unfortunately, due to a failed drug test by one of his 4x100m teammates, Bolt’s gold medal in that event was ultimately stripped.

Disappointed but not deterred, the 6ft 5in sprinter would once again shatter one of his own records at the 2009 world championships, running the 100m in 9.58 sec. Four days later, he would beat his 200m record by 0.11 sec to win his second gold medal.


Bolt would retire at the 2017 world championships, where he captured bronze in the 100m sprint despite being troubled by persistent hamstring injuries.

The 34-year-old has left behind a lasting legacy and a neigh-on impossible act to follow.

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