Usain Bolt: How fast can Olympic icon run the NFL's 40-yard dash?

  • Kobe Tong
Bolt makes his iconic pose.

Usain Bolt is the fastest man in history.

In 2009, the Jamaican legend blew everybody away with an astonishing 100-metre world record of 9.58 seconds that nobody has gotten close to ever since.

And at the very same World Championships, Bolt also made history in the 200 metres as he lowered his own world record of 19.30 seconds to a time of 19.19 that still stands today.

Bolt’s legendary speed

Marry that to holding the men’s 4×100-metre relay world record along with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake with a time of 36.84 seconds and Bolt’s untouchable legacy is complete.

However, some of the most interesting Bolt performances in our eyes have actually come away from the distances that are ratified by World Athletics at their championnship events.

Throughout his career, Bolt would occasionally take on different challenges away from the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay as he looked to establish himself as an all-time sporting great.

Here at GIVEMESPORT, we have already looked at how Bolt attempted to break the 300m world record and succeeded in shattering the greatest ever 150m time in history while he was competing.

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Bolt vs the 40-yard dash

But one of the most fascinating Bolt experiments actually came when he’d already hung up his spikes and decided to try his hand at the 40-yard dash that has been made famous by the NFL.

An iconic part of the NFL Scouting Combine, American Football players attempt to show their pace to the world when they take on a sprinting challenge often reserved for track and field athletes.

According to the NFL’s official website, the fastest ever 40-yard dash in the sport’s history was posted by John Ross, who gobbled up the distance in a time of 4.22 seconds. Pretty good, huh?

Well, yes, absolutely, but none other than Bolt himself made the time look pedestrian when he took on the challenge during an appearance at a Super Bowl Experience weekend in Atalanta in 2019.

Bolt appears at the F1.
Formula One F1 – Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy – September 12, 2021 Usain Bolt is seen on the grid before the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Bolt matched the NFL record

Despite having been retired for more than a year and covering the distance in trainers and tracksuit bottoms across a makeshift track, Bolt astonishingly managed to equal Ross’ NFL record.

It really was scary just how easy Bolt made matching the fastest ever NFL player look and we dread to think what time he would have posted under the right conditions when he was still competing.

So, be sure to do yourselves a favour and remember just how unstoppable Bolt truly is by reliving the moment that he equalled the NFL’s 40-yard dash record like it was nothing down below:

What an absolute machine.

You don’t need to be a sprinting expert to see that the conditions were against an already-retired Bolt being able to match the record, but alas, he still managed to make it look like a walk in the park.

Christian Coleman went even faster

But if there’s any indication of just how much Bolt was held back by his clothing and equipment, then it’s the fact that US sprinter Christian Coleman actually broke the 40-yard dash record in 2017.

The future 100m world champion posted an eye-watering time of 4.12 seconds in sprint spikes and full running gear as he was coming into the prime of his career – check it out down below:

Top stuff, Christian, but you’ll forgive us for thinking that the time would have been even more terrifying if a prime Bolt took on the NFL record with the same conditions and advantages.

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