Sunday 5 July, 2020

10 things to know about birthday boy, Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt celebrates after anchoring Jamaica's to the gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Usain Bolt celebrates after anchoring Jamaica's to the gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Today, Wednesday, August 21 is the 33rd birthday of sprint legend Usain St Leo Bolt.

The tall Jamaican took the track and field world by storm 11 years ago when he mesmerised a global audience and the tens of thousands who had turned out to see him inside Beijing’s now historic Bird’s Nest. There, Bolt romped to world record runs in the 100 and 200 metres, setting the stage for what would be, over the next 10 years, the most outstanding career in the history of track and field.

On the way, he would set new records in the 100 and 200 metres as well as the 4x100-metre relay.

Bolt, who is now an accomplished businessman, retired from track and field competition in 2017 after the World Championships in London.

Below, Loop Sports lists 10 things to know about the legend, Usain Bolt:

1. Bolt is an eight-time Olympic gold medallist and an 11-time World champion.

2. Bolt is the only athlete to have won the 100m, 200m and 4×100m relay at three consecutive Olympic Games, although he lost the 2008 relay gold medal after his teammate Nesta Carter was found to have used a banned substance.

3. He is the first athlete to win four World Championship titles in the 200m and is the joint-most successful in the 100m with three titles.

4. Bolt made a cameo appearance in the opening sketch of the  October 13, 2012 broadcast of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Christina Applegate.

5. Bolt was conferred with the Order of Jamaica in 2009 at just 23-year-old – the youngest member so far. He was awarded by the Jamaican Government "for outstanding performance in the field of athletics at the international level".

6. In 2018, Bolt co-founded electric scooter company Bolt Mobility. He is also known for his interest in Tracks and Records.

7.  Bolt first set the 100m record (9.72s) on May 31, 2008, at the Reebok Grand Prix in the Icahn Stadium in New York City. The race was just his fifth senior 100m.

8.  Bolt won his first annual high school championships medal in 2001; he took the silver medal in the 200m with a time of 22.04s.

9. Bolt tried his hand at professional football after his retirement from the track. He had trained with multiple clubs over the past few years,  with Borussia Dortmund and Norweigian side Stromsgodset some of the biggest among them, but his best opportunity came with the Central Coast Mariners of Australia's A-League.

Appearing in friendlies with the club, Bolt scored a double in a match in October and earned the chance to sign a contract with the team. However, the two sides could not come to an agreement on compensation, as commercial backing to finance Bolt’s desired wages were not found.

10.  As a boy, Bolt attended the Sherwood Content Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Trelawny. He now identifies as a Catholic.

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