Olympics: Usain Bolt’s sprinting toward greatness
By Dialogo July 19, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A. – Usain Bolt will try to earn the title of “Fastest Man on Earth” by winning the 100-meter dash at the London Games, just as he did four years ago at the Beijing Games.
But first, he must prove he is the fastest man in his own country.
The sprinter and three-time gold medalist suffered two defeats in three days at the Jamaican National Championships and Olympic Trials at National Stadium in Kingston. Bolt, who finished second in the 100- and 200- meter dashes to training partner Yohan Blake, was plagued by slow starts in both races. Blake is now the top-ranked sprinter in the world in both events.
And it’s Bolt’s job to catch him.
“[Blake] proved himself as one of the greatest and for me, it’s just going back to the drawing board,” Bolt, 25, told reporters. “It’s not like I was blown away or anything so I know what I need to get it right. I was very sad, it was awful. I have been working more on my 100-meter dash. But I can’t blame it on that. I just have to get my things together and just get it done.”
Bolt’s coach, Glen Mills, also doesn’t see a reason for concern.
“[Bolt] might be a little off at the moment,” Mills told reporters. “But I’m sure when the time of delivery comes around, he’ll be on top of his game.”
In the 100-meter dash, Bolt is the current world (9.58 seconds) and Olympic (9.69 seconds) record holder and also owns both marks in the 200-meter dash (19.30). Overall, he has three gold medals and five championship titles. And while the native of Trelawny had just four weeks to fine-tune his slow starts, one aspect of his game he didn’t need to work on was his confidence.
Still regarded by many as the fastest man alive, Bolt is known for his colorful showmanship, such as using a fire extinguisher on his feet after crossing the finish line, implying he was running so fast they were ablaze.
“At the end of London 2012, I want to go into the press conference and say before anyone asks me a question that ‘You are now looking at a living legend,’” he told reporters. “That’s what I want to say before that last press conference after my 200-meter final.”
Bolt also is active in social media, touting nearly 556,000 followers on Twitter. He tweets everything from pictures of his meals, images of him relaxing before a race to shots of him playing video games with fans.
That’s why Bolt will have much more at stake at next month’s games than just a spot on the medal podium – he will have his global image on the line.
Forbes magazine reported Bolt earned around US$20.3 million the past 12 months as he commands tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals with companies like Puma and Nissan. But Bolt doesn’t just let that money sit in the bank or spend it frivolously. The star runner has established the Usain Bolt Foundation, which helps poor and underprivileged children.
Last month, Bolt and the organization visited the Dare to Care hospice in Spanish Town. There, he interacted with 68 children who are HIV-positive. He donated US$100,000 and signed autographs and handed out PUMA tops, caps and shoes to the children.
“Giving back is just as good as getting,” Bolt told reporters.
Blake is the best. He is number one, the top of the top. dude, youâ€™re great, just by creating the Usain Bolt Foundation for underprivileged children. Hats off to you, youâ€™re awesome. You contribute this way by helping all these people who need assistance, may GOD always enlighten your way. Excellent with a huge heart. Hopefully there is one Ecuadorian who can win a medal. He is now showing his full potential and he is already a speed legend. It is good that he doesn't get blinded by the money, being from a poor family and much better if he is altruistic... I wish him the best. Really BOLT is a motivation and an excellent person and congratulations for the Foundation Bolt is a very good person and very good-hearted person. I had no idea that he had a foundation for poor children, thatÂ´s fantastic. That is why God helps him and always accompanies him. May God accompany him always, he deserves it. In addition to having a good heart he is a good athlete. Good luck forever. What a wonderful way of being this great athlete. To think of helping people or children with health problems is something that deserves praise. I would like other athletes and many personalities to follow this example. I am moved by the phrase "hands that give receive." The color doesn't matter, but the kindness that this athlete shows by taking care of those children in need. May God bless you for these gestures toward humanity. I admire you so much because you are not only a great athlete but you also have a big heart. I CONGRATULATE you for both reasons. Few people have those two virtues. Bolt is a man of values, he helps those who need it and transmits life in each of his movements. He is worthy to be a role model to those who have resources but that do not share them with others. Good luck BOLT. You are the best of all times CARLOS ALVARADO ECUADOR you're the planetâ€™s fastest man, Boltttt. Good for Jamaica, that is a small island but with a huge sports heart. It is an example of courage and commitment for powers like the United States. CONGRATULATIONS. A great example is this athlete and he teaches us that what if one sets a goal, one can accomplish it with much discipline and determination. And I like that he helps children and young people through an organization. God bless you. With the humility that the Jamaican has and the faith that he has in God, he achieves the best. He only needs to make the effort. A great example is this athlete and he teaches us that what if one sets a goal, one can accomplish it with much discipline and determination. And I like that he helps children and young people through an organization. God bless him. In my country we have a good runner, Mr. Nery Brenes, which won a first place in a World Championships in athletics. But now in the London Olympics unfortunately he did not get good results in these games, but I have faith in him. How elegant it is to be in the Olympics Olympic, how good jxjxjxjxjxÂ¿Â¿Â¿ FÃ©lix SÃ¡nchez, we feel proud that he is from D.R. Truly, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on Earth and he proved this in London 2012. He left behind all his rivals and I'm happy for the Jamaicans. Congratulations. USAIN BOLT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Uhm, I run slower Congratulations USAIN BOLT. The truth is I do not like sports so much, but I like how he celebrates when he wins. I love people that set goals and make all the efforts to reach them!!! Nice information. Everything I needed for homework. Thanks to those who wrote. USAIN BOLT you're my idol since I started to see your races I do not do other thing than enjoying your speed and the good guy that you are. You make me think that if I had been famous like you I would do the same to help poor kids in rural schools in the interior of my country ARGENTINA. ONE MORE THING: THE DAY THAT I HAVE A MALE CHILD I WILL CALL HIM USAIN. THANK YOU IDOL. I AM CRISTAN ARCE and I would love to meet you in your land personally, to talk to you and see if you are really human, ha ha. IDOL...