Ask a random person on the street right now who the fastest man in the world is, and you would get one answer 90% of the time: USAIN BOLT! After all, the man was basically in a league of his own for years, keeping every competitor within an arm’s length. (And in a race, that’s already prime real estate!)
Bolt, the man many affectionately called “Lightning,” first captivated the world in the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he began re-writing record books left, right, and middle. In the 100-meter event, he set the record time at 9.69, topped the 200-meter race with a time of 19.30 seconds. And then, not to be contented, helped the Jamaican national track team in the 4×100 meter race by clocking at 37.10 seconds!
But of course, Bolt figured setting three world records in a single Olympic event was not enough. He returned and broke his own record (9.63 seconds) in the 100-meter event and bagged gold in two other events in London four years later.
And who will ever forget Bolt’s ridiculous smile en route to winning the 2016 Olympics 100-meter race in Rio?
But like all good things, Bolt’s dominance has apparently come to an end.
Yep, the man lost a race in what could have been his last go-round before calling it quits at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London. “Lightning” may have checked himself out mentally even before the event, revealing he is set to retire at the end of the 2016 Olympics before his coach convinced him otherwise.
Bolt settled for a bronze finish in the 100-meter final in London behind Christian Coleman (9.94 seconds) and nemesis Justin Gaitlin (9.92 seconds) of the United States. (Gaitlin was involved in a PED scandal before but that’s a story for another day.) The Jamaican track star completed his first-ever third-place finish at 9.95 seconds.
But should that diminish Bolt’s legacy in any way? Hardly! He has been a one-man wrecking crew in the world scene being an 11-time World Champion and has achieved what the sports world calls the “Triple Treat”– winning three consecutive gold medals in consecutive Olympics in the same event. In addition to that, his incredible career also had him earn four Laureus World Sportsman of the Year awards as well six IAAF Male Athlete of the Year titles.
While all of that is in the rearview mirror now for Usain Bolt, how fast really was the guy in his prime? Well, it was in the 2009 Berlin World Championships where he set the world record for the 100-meter dash. The IAFF wasted little time in collecting Bolt’s data and it was found out that his top speed caps at 27.7 miles per hour or 44.72 kilometers per hour! That could be me when I hear my angry wife at the other end of the phone but kidding aside, the guy is an absolute legend. A legend is what he is and a legend he always will be.