Looking Back On Usain Bolt’s Four Career-Defining Moments
It was the end of an era earlier this month when world-renowned track superstar Usain Bolt called it quits after participating in one last event in London. The 30-year-old ended his mind-bogglingly successful career after nine Olympic gold medals across three different Olympic Games, not to mention setting the world record two times in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash.
In honor of the best sprinter of all time hanging up his spikes, we’ve taken a look at his finest moments during his dominating decade in the spotlight.
Bolt secures his first Olympic gold by breaking the 100m world record in the final of the 2008 Beijing Games
Usain Bolt made quite the first impression during his first Olympic final as he dominated the final heat by beating the world record time by more than three one-hundredths of a second. Despite getting off to a slow start, the Jamaican sprinter blew past the rest of the field and even pounded his chest en route to his first gold medal. Speaking about the event in his autobiography, he said: “I was slowing down long before the finish and wasn’t tired at all.” He ruffled plenty of feathers due to his celebration during the race but when you win that emphatically it’s hard to blame him for basking in his accomplishment. Bolt has since been known for his charisma and bravado which were on display in his first win at the Olympics.
Usain goes two-for-two in Beijing, wins the 200m gold medal
Bolt didn’t rest on his laurels after setting the world record in the 100m final. The one dubbed “Lightning” eased his way into the finals of the 200m dash, and absolutely skunked the competition, breaking another world record in the process. As he made the final turn onto the backstretch, he pulled away easily from the rest of the pack and beat silver medalist Shawn Crawford by more than half a second. Bolt’s success in his first Olympics was incredible as he took home three gold medals and set world records in two of the events that he competed in.
Bolt anchors the Jamaican 4x100m relay final and breaks the World Record by almost two-tenths of a second
Unsurprisingly, the Jamaican relay team experienced tremendous success with Bolt as their anchor, winning gold all three times he competed on the team. That doesn’t mean that they won easily, however. In the 2012 finals in London, Jamaica and the United States were neck and neck going into the final leg of the race. American sprinter Ryan Bailey did a fantastic job of keeping pace with Bolt for most of his leg but Bolt was able to lead the Jamaicans to victory by two-tenths of a second. Jamaica’s time of 36.84 bested the previous world record by .26 seconds, a mark which still stands to this day.
Bolt runs his last individual race, finishing third at the World Championships in London
After a career that saw him win a gold medal in every Olympic event he entered, Bolt’s career came to an inauspicious close just a few weeks ago. At the World Championships in London, Usain ran hard in the final but lost an incredibly close race to American Justin Gatlin. After the race was over, Bolt went over towards the crowd in celebration and was given a hearty round of applause from the fans in attendance. Given how much he won in his career it was surprising that he didn’t finish off with a victory but given all that he’s accomplished, he is still undoubtedly the best sprinter of all time.
(Image courtesy Neil via Flickr.)