Childhood & Early Life
Usain was born Usain St Leo Bolt on 21st August 1986, in Sherwood Content, Jamaica, to Jennifer and Wellesley Bolt. He is one of the three children born to the couple. His parents managed to make ends meet by running a shop where mostly groceries were sold.
The young boy was enrolled at an institution named ‘Waldensia Primary.’ He was known for being a good sprinter during his time here and even won many ‘10 meter’ running contests at this institution.
Bolt later moved to ‘William Knibb Memorial High School’ where he started playing sports, such as cricket. While mentoring the kids who were interested in the sport, the coach felt that Usain would be a better athlete than a cricketer. He even encouraged him to try sprinting.
The young lad soon participated in the 200-meter racing event in school, which he finished in a matter of just 22.04 seconds.
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He was then coached by a former sprinter named Pablo McNeil who had previously participated in Olympics.
Bolt’s first major international sporting event was the ‘IAAF World Youth Championship,’ which was held in 2001 at the Hungarian city of Debrecen. Although he failed to emerge victorious in the 200m qualifier event, he managed to finish the event in 21.73 seconds, which was his personal best at the time.
He then went on to participate in the 2002 ‘World Junior Championships.’ In this international event, held at Kingston, Jamaica, he managed to win the 200 meter event by completing the race in just 20.61 seconds.
He made waves in the world of sports by delivering an extraordinary performance at the 2003 ‘CARIFTA Games.’
During the ‘Jamaican High School Championships,’ which was also held in 2003, Bolt re-wrote the previous records of 200m and 400m running events by completing the events in 20.25 seconds and 45.35 seconds, respectively.
2004 turned out to be a major year in Usain’s career as he participated in three events, namely ‘CARIFTA Games,’ ‘World Junior Championships,’ and the famous ‘Athens Olympics.’
Although he was praised for his remarkable performance in the ‘CARIFTA Games,’ he failed to do well in the 200m Olympic qualifier event due to an injury that he had suffered.
Bolt teamed up with a new coach named Glen Mills in 2005. The latter tried his best to make Usain more professional than he was earlier. Under Glen’s mentorship, he registered a win in a 200m event where he finished the race in just 19.99 seconds.
In the same year, this upcoming sports star participated in the 2005 ‘World Championships.’ In the event, he fared much better than the way he did in the running events held in 2004.
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This athlete was looking forward to the 2006 ‘Commonwealth Games,’ but had to back out of the event due to a severe injury to his hamstring.
Although his career suffered for the most part of 2006, he emerged victorious at the ‘IAAF World Athletics Final’ event, held in Germany that year.
He then traveled to the city of Osaka in Japan to participate in the 2007 ‘World Championship.’ Although he managed to cover a distance of 200m in 19.91 seconds, his performance was overshadowed by his contemporary Tyson Gay’s exceptional 19.76 seconds finish.
Though many felt that Usain lacked sufficient experience to participate in the ‘Beijing Summer Olympics,’ which was to be held in 2008, he silenced his critics by qualifying for the 100m final event. Bolt achieved path-breaking success when he won the 100m final by completing the race in just 9.69 seconds, becoming a world-renowned icon. He also won the 200m final with a new Olympic record of 19.30 seconds. He won his third gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in 4x100m relay.
At the 2009 ‘Berlin World Championships,’ he created world records in both 100m and 200m events. He won the 100m race in 9.58 seconds and the 200m race in just 19.19 seconds. He also won a gold medal in the 4x100m relay race, but his team failed to better its own record.
At the 2011 ‘World Championships’ held in Daegu, Bolt was eliminated from the 100m finals due to a false start. He came back strongly to win the gold medal in the 200m event, finishing the race in just 19.40 seconds. He then partnered with his Jamaican teammates to set a world record time of 37.04 seconds in the 4x100m relay.
He participated in the 2012 ‘Summer Olympics’ and created history to become the first man to successfully defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic sprint titles. He also won the 4x100m relay race and achieved the 'Double Triple,' taking his overall Olympics medal tally to six gold medals. He won the 100m race in 9.63 seconds and the 200m race in 19.32 seconds.
At the 2013 ‘World Championships’ in Moscow, he once again emerged victorious in the 100m and 200m events, winning the races in 9.77 seconds and 19.66 seconds, respectively. He also won the gold medal in the 4×100 meters relay final, becoming the most successful athlete in the 30-year history of world championships.
At the 2014 ‘Commonwealth Games,’ he did not participate in the 100m and 200m events as he had previously suffered a hamstring injury. He participated in the 4x100m relay and helped his team win gold.
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At the 2015 ‘Beijing World Championships,’ he once again won the 4x100m relay, 100m, and 200m events in 37.36 seconds, 9.79 seconds, and 19.55 seconds, respectively. He also joined Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene by winning a record three 100m world titles, and recorded his fourth consecutive win in the 200m event at the ‘World Championships.’
At the 2016 ‘Rio Olympics,’ he once again won gold medals in the 4x100m relay, 100m, and 200m events and took his overall Olympics medal tally to nine gold medals. He won the 100m in 9.81 seconds, 200m in 19.78 seconds, and 4x100m relay in 37.27 seconds.
After the 2017 ‘World Championships,’ where he finished third in his last 100m race, Bolt retired from track and field.
He then began training with the Australian A-League club ‘Central Coast Mariners’ as a left-winger. He scored twice for the team in a friendly match, but left the club the next month and chose not to pursue a career in football.
Usain Bolt At Olympics - In a Nutshell
Usain Bolt has participated in four Olympics and has won nine gold medals.
At the 2004 ‘Athens Olympics,’ his performance was hampered by a leg injury and he was eliminated in the first round of the 200-meter event.
At the 2008 ‘Beijing Olympics,’ he won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay, finishing the races in 9.69 seconds, 19.30 seconds, and 37.10 seconds, respectively.
At the 2012 ‘London Olympics,’ he once again won three gold medals. He won the 100m event in 9.63 seconds, 200m in 19.32 seconds, and 4x100m relay in 36.84 seconds.
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At the 2016 ‘Rio Olympics,’ he won gold medals in all three track events and achieved the ‘triple-triple.’ He won the 100m event in 9.81 seconds, 200m in 19.78 seconds, and 4x100m relay in 37.27 seconds.
Awards and Achievements
Bolt received his first honor in the form of a silver medal in 2001, during one of the championships held in school. He won another silver medal at the ‘CARIFTA Games’ which was held in the same year.
In the 2002 ‘World Junior Championships,’ he won the gold medal, becoming the youngest person to do so.
He received four medals in the ‘CARIFTA’ games held in 2003. This is considered to be an incredible feat.
His phenomenal performance in the 100m event at the 2008 ‘Summer Olympics’ helped him win his first gold medal.
He won another gold medal in the ‘World Championships’ event held in 2009.
His winning spree at the Olympics continued in 2012 as he won a gold medal yet again.