He ran in nine sprint finals in three Olympic Games and won nine gold medals which confirmed Usain Bolt is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Bolt wrote down his name into Olympic Games record books as he led the Jamaican 4 x 100-meter relay team last night to their third straight gold medal in the Olympics and took the ninth gold of his extraordinary career.
THREE OLYMPICS, NINE GOLDS
Usain Bolt is an unprecedented figure in the world of the athletics. He’s won the 100 meters and the 200 meters races and the 4 x 100-meter relay in three Olympics – Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. No sprinter has ever dominated the sport in such a long time span. Such dominance was obvious especially this week in Brazil as he finished all three races with almost incredible margin and ease as he crossed the finish line. In 200 meters finals it appeared that he even had time to smile for the camera during the race. With last night’s relay win Bolt tied legendary American sprinter and long jumper and his childhood idol Carl Lewis and Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi as the only other competitors in the athletics at Olympic Games to win nine gold medals. The only Olympian to win more than them is USA swimmer Michael Phelps, who improved his incredible record to 23 golds with five medals in Rio.
As he crossed the finish line first in last night’s relay race, never-modest and always smiled Bolt said to the media he just proved he is the greatest just like he said he will. In the last decade Jamaica took over from USA as the nation of greatest racers in the world in both men’s and women’s sprint and now after Rio Olympics Bolt, Asafa Powell and Shelly–Ann Fraser–Pryce will leave their legacy in the hands of the younger Jamaican runners like Yohan Blake, Kemar Bailey–Cole and Nickel Ashmeade and Elaine Thompson who surprised the world as she took Olympic gold in both 100 meters and 200 meters women’s sprint this week. Although Usain Bolt who turns 30 today seemed to be even more dominant in Rio than in the previous two Olympic Games he said he definitely will not compete in Tokyo in 2020 but knowing him, and the lure of Olympic spotlight it just possible we haven’t seen the last of Usain Bolt on the biggest stage even though he may even switch to long jump near the end of his career like his idol Carl Lewis did two decades ago.