On the occasion of Usain Bolt’s 29th birthday, here are 10 things you need to know about the fastest man alive:
1. Usain Bolt is a five-time World Champion and three-time Olympic champion. He is the world and Olympic record holder in both 100m and 200m.
2. He is one of just seven athletes to win the World Championships at youth, junior and senior level of any athletic event. Since being crowned World Champion in 2008, Usain has never lost the WC event except in 2011, when he was disqualified for a false start.
3. He has broken the world record in the 100m thrice – first with 9.72 in 2008, then with 9.69 at the Beijing Olympics and finally, clocking 9.58 in 2009. For the 200m, he broke it once at Beijing with 19.30 and then at Berlin with 19.19. He is the only man to win and clock world record times in each and every one of his Olympic events – the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. It’s not without reason that he is referred to as ‘the fastest human ever’.
4. Bolt was born in Trelawny, Jamaica and was initially focused on becoming a cricketer or footballer. However, his cricket team coach saw his phenomenal pace and asked him to take up track and field. The Jamaican was also offered athletic scholarships from American colleges but declined them to stay and train under Coach Glen Mills.
5. An avid sports fan, Bolt is a fan of the English club Manchester United and Spanish team Real Madrid. Often spotted at the clubs’ games, Bolt also took time out of athletics to meet Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United, where he offered expertise on gaining speed while sprinting. He has stated that his favourite footballer is Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
A cricket enthusiast as well, Bolt is a fond admirer of Chris Gayle, Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis. In a charity game in 2009, he clean bowled Gayle and later thrashed him for a six.