Jamaican Phenomenon Usain Bolt Widely Regarded As Fastest Man Alive
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, 25, has leapt to the status of legend, partly by his own acknowledgement, partly by the intense devotion of his fans, and partly by the media, who have dubbed him with the moniker "Lightning Bolt."
In these 2012 London Olympics, Bolt became the first man to retain the gold medal titles in both the 100m and 200m events at two consecutive Olympics. Bolt won the gold for the races in Beijing in 2008 and still holds both titles, as of Thursday's track and field event.
Bolt, who is widely accepted to be the fastest man in the world, is gearing up for today's 4x100m relay, for which he also helped Jamaica win the gold last Summer Olympics in Beijing. "I'm now a legend," Bolt said, reports the U.K.'s Telegraph. "I'm also the greatest athlete to live," he said.
Bolt also knows how to ham it up for fans and media, charging into the crowds after games, hugging people, shaking hands, and joking with reporters. He even grabbed one photographer's camera, put the strap around his neck, and began taking pictures on his victory lap, gesturing for fans to step up their dull roar, reports Australia's Herald Sun.
Bolt may seem arrogant, but fans acknowledge that the attitude is both richly deserved and possibly adulterated with a healthy bit of humor. After all, Bolt acknowledges the help of fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, 22, who nabbed the silver in both the 100m and 200m events this London Olympics, and is popularly considered to be the second fastest man alive.
"If he wasn't there," Bolt said of Blake, reports BBC, "I would be a little bit off, he's really helped. Over the years, Yohan has made me a better athlete. He's really pushed me and kept me on my toes." So much so that, while Bolt doesn't consider Blake an immediate threat, he won't be taking that stance forever. "Yohan is running 19.4 in the 200m already, his personal-best is 19.2. He's running 9.7 in the 100m, so in the next four years he's going to be firing. I think I'd like to get out early before he starts running too fast," Bolt said.
For more on the 2012 London Olympics: