Super Speed

Usain Bolt – World’s Fastest Man

Last Updated on July 2, 2020 by Darshan Modi

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt

Like his name suggests, this man is as fast as a bolt of lightning. His incredible speed and record-breaking achievements will leave you breathless. Read more about his early days and his world breaking achievements.

Usain Bolt Superpower

Usain Bolt is currently the fastest man in the world and the only man since fully automated time has been used to measure runners, that has held both the 100 and 200 meter record.


Usain St. Leo Bolt was born in Jamaica in a small town called Sherwood Content on the 21 August 1986.

Early Life

Usain’s parents, Wellesley and Jennifer, ran the local grocery store in Sherwood Content and Bolt and his brother Sadiki and his Sherine spent much of their childhood playing cricket and football in the streets.
Bolt’s incredible speed was first noticed during his years at Waldensia Primary where by the age of 12 he was their fastest 100 meter runner.
His high-school cricket coach though was the first to encourage Bolt to focus on his running and he started training with Pablo McNeill, a former Olympic sprinter.

About Usain Bolt

Usain won his first medal for Jamaica, a silver, in 2001 at the CARIFTA Games by clocking a personal best of 48.28 seconds in the 400 meters. Earlier that same year he nearly ruined his chances for the CARIFTA after he took part in the IAAF world Youth Championships in Hungary but failed to make the finals. Usain hid in his van when he should have been preparing for the race, which resulted in him being detained by the police. He then went onto the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships where he continued to set records.
Usain is only one of nine people ever to have won World Championships at Youth, Junior and Senior level. When Usain was 12 years old, 2002, the World Junior championships were held in Kingston, Jamaica where he won the 200-meter sprint in just 20.61 seconds, making him the youngest world-junior gold medallist ever. He was so nervous performing in front of a home crowd he has his shoes on the wrong feet. The sprint relay team also took home two silver medals. In 2003 he won Gold at the CARIFTA games as well as the Austin Sealy Trophy for the most outstanding athlete of the games. He took Gold again later that year at the World Youth Championships. Usain received the 2002 award for the IAAF rising star of the year.
In 2003, Bolt broke the 200, meter (20.25 seconds) and 400 meter (45.35 seconds) record and later that year broke his own 200 meter record at 20.13 seconds, at the Pan American Junior Championships, a record which still stands as the World Youth best today. At the age of only 16, Bolt had achieved sprinting times that the then world champion, Michael Johnson, had only been able to achieve in his twenties.
Usain was not disciplined and focused on his training and this affected him in the Senior World Championships in Paris in 2003 when, although he still managed to beat all the other competitors on the track, he came down a severe case of conjunctivitis before the event and the JAAA refused to let his partake in the competition. Despite the set back, Usain again won the IAAF Rising Star award. Bolt turned professional in 2004 under a new coach, Fitz Coleman, and became the first junior sprinter to run the 200 meters in under 20 seconds at the CARIFTA games. He suffered a hamstring injury in the May of the same year and missed the World Junior Championships.
Later in 2004, Bolt joined the rest of the Jamaican Olympic Team in Athens where his hamstring injury continued to plague him and he was eliminated in the first round. Bolt was offered scholarships for many American Universities, but preferred to stay at the University of Technology in Jamaica. In 2005 he changed coaches again and trained under Glen Mills. He hoped to regain his place as world champion at the 2005 World Championship, but again an injury caused him to lose his place, however at 18 he was the youngest person to ever partake in a 200 meter final at the World Championships.
In the November of 2005, Usain was in a car accident, which further derailed his training program. Through persistent training, Bolt again rose the top 5 rankings, during the remainder of the year, but in 2006 at the Commonwealth games, a hamstring injury again forced him to withdraw. Over the next few years, Bolt continued to partake in International events and improved on his rankings and time. He also started focusing and training for the 100-meter sprint. On 31 May 2008, Usain Bolt set a new World Record for the 100-meter sprint, completing it in 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix held in New York City. Later the same year in Athens, Greece, Bolt broke the 200-meter world record in a time of 19.67 seconds.
At the 2008 Sumer Olympics in Beijing, Bolt too part in the 100 and 200 meter sprint and was the favourite to win both. In the 100 meter final he ran and incredible 9.69 seconds, finishing a full 2 seconds ahead of the second place runner. He took allot of criticism for slowing down towards the end to celebrate his victory when he could have kept the speed and although he broke the World record, he could have achieved a better time. In the 200 meter final, Bolt not only took home another gold medal for Jamaica, but broke his own World record in 19.30 seconds, crossing the finishing line to the strains of “Happy Birthday” as the following day he would turn 22 Years old. Two days later his relay team won another gold and broke another world record (this medal was revoked in 2017 when a blood test on the team member showed a banned substance in the blood of team mate Nesta Carter).
Bolt received the Order of Distinction back home in Jamaica for his contribution to Jamaican sport as well as the IAAF Male Athlete of the year and received a special Olympic award and was named Lareus World Sportsman of the Year. At the 2009 Berlin World Championships, Bolt again broke his 100 and 200 meter records, receiving his first gold at the World Championships and winning the 200 meter with the biggest margin ever seen at the World Championships. The Governing Mayor of Berlin presented Bolt with a section of the Berlin Wall, saying that Bolt shows that” one can tear down walls that had been considered as insurmountable.
Bolt was also the IAAF World athlete of the year for the second year in a row. 2010 saw Bolt win at the Diamond League and Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, but injuries of his Achilles tendon caused him to lose to rival Tyson Gay for the first time. In 2011, Bolt was back on his winning form, taking gold medals in Rome, Ostrava, Paris and Stockholm. At the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Bolt was disqualified from the 100 meter race for what was termed a “ridiculously early start”. The disqualification of someone with a profile like Usain Bolt raised allot of questions to the change of the rule by the IAAF that previously allowed one false start per race. Bolt however sailed through the 200-meter race winning in 19.40 seconds. His team rounded up the Championships with a third gold for Jamaica in the competition. Bolt’s triple gold performance was repeated at the 2011 IAAF Diamond League.
At the 2012 London Summer Olympics Bolt won the 100 meters in 9.63 seconds, improving on his previous record. He held onto his 200-meter record, coming first in a time of 19.32 seconds. The Jamaican relay team also took gold again and Bolt earned himself the reputation of the faster sprinter in history. At the end of the Olympics, Bolt became the highest earning track athlete of all time. The Jamaican team took another triple gold at the 2013 world Championships, with Bolt winning the 100-meter, 200-meter and the Jamaican team winning the relay. Bolt became the most successful athlete in the 30-year history of the World Championships and for the fifth time in six years he was named the IAAF World male athlete of the year.
In 2014 Bolt suffered a severe injury to his hamstring and did not compete for most of the year. At the Commonwealth games he took part in the relay with his team and they won, setting a record for the Games. The only solo competition he took part in for the balance of the year was the 100-meter in Warsaw where he set the wold record for indoor running.
In 2015 Bolt announced he would be retiring in 2107. Following his injury of the year before, Bolt started competing slowly and was not the favourite for winning the World Championships. In all of his races, Bolt only just beat his competitor Justin Gatlin who had been named sprinter of the year for 2014. Still in recovery, Bolt did not compete again in the year. 2016 and the Olympics held in Rio were the sporting highlight of the year. Usain did not disappoint, winning the 100-meter sprint in 9.81 seconds and becoming the first athlete of all time to win the Olympic event three times in a row. He matched this achievement in the 200-meter sprint and again with the Jamaican relay team, earning his 3rd Gold for the 2016 Olympics. 2017 and Usain Bolt officially retired from running. He competed in the World Championships but collapsed from a hamstring injury and had to be helped over the line during the relay event.
Usain Bolt is a Catholic and wears the Miraculous Medal, or Medal of the Immaculate Conception, during all his races. He plays reggae music and loves to play the game Call of Duty. Usain suffers from Scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, which has resulted in one of his legs being half an inch shorter than the other. In 28 November 2016, the biographical film based on his life, “I am Bolt” was released.

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Genetic Or Learned

Usain’s skill must be genetic. He is known for living a very undisciplined lifestyle, preferring parties and food to training and the only way he could achieve what he has,is with natural ability. His lack of dedication and the light-hearted manner in which he took his running career was the source of much frustration for many of his coaches.

Names Known By

  • Lightning Bolt

Official Website

Usain Bolt Youtube Videos

Featured In

  • Biographical film: I am Bolt – November 2016
  • Saturday Night live – October 2012
  • Late Late show wth James Cordon – October 2017
  • Usain Bolt: An Unauthorised Biography – Belmont and Belcourt Biographies – 2012
  • Usain Bolt: Katie Lajiness – 2016
  • EDGE: Dream to Win: Usain Bolt – Roy Apps – 2016
  • The Story of the World’s Fastest Man – Steven Downes – 2011
  • Usain Bolt: Inspirational Lives – Simon Haer – 2012
  • Ultimate Sports Heroes – Usain Bolt: The Fastest Man on Earth – John Murray – 2017
  • Usain Bolt – George Cantor – 2011
  • Usain Bolt- Matt Scheff – 2016

Books Published

  • Usain Bolt: 9.58- Usain Bolt – 2010
  • Faster than Lightning: My Autobiography – Usain Bolt – 2013
  • The Fastest Man Alive: The True Story of Usain Bolt – Usain Bolt – 2016
  • Usain Bolt: My Story – 9. 58 – Being the World’s Fastest Man