The Fastest Man Alive
Winning gold in the Olympics is an athlete's greatest dream. Usain Bolt has already achieved that dream three times. This year, at the 2012
Olympics he has the chance to go one step further. Bolt could be the first sprinter in history to win gold in the 100, 200 and 100-metre relay
in two consecutive games. If he does it, he'll become one of the greatest Olympians who ever lived.
Wellesley & Jennifer Bolt, Usain's Parents
But in athletics, there are no guarantees.
March 2011 Kingston, Jamaica
Usain is back in training after being injured for several months. His schedule is way off track. The world athletics Championships in Daegu,
South Korea, are just six months away.
Nugent Walker, Usain's personal manager "I've known him since I was a child, very young. When we were at primary school, in the first grade, I'm
NJ and his nickname was VJ. I'm a teacher. I can teach history or social science. Right now, I'm dealing with his fears, as his assistant manager. "
Usain lives in Jamaica's capital, Kingston. He lives here in the house which he shares with a group of mates, including his childhood friend NJ.
Usain hasn't always lived in Kingston. He grew up three hours away in Jamaica's rural North West. The fastest man in the world was born in the
sleepy village of Sherwood Content, where time seems to have stood still.
Usain Bolt "It's wonderful in the morning, that's why a love going back home. Its peaceful, you can relax, breathe in some fresh air."
The Bolt family still live in the house where Usain was born on 21 August, 1986.
Wellesley Bolt "When Usain was born, I was happy that he was a boy, of course. I always wanted a boy then."
Jennifer Bolt "He was big. He was a big baby. He weighed 9.5lbs."
Usain didn't always want to be an athlete. As a child, he had a different passion.
Nugent Walker "When we were growing up, cricket was his sport. Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose. It was a passion."
Wellesley Bolt "He did want to be a cricketer. He played cricket and tracks at primary school. But we decided the future, and we said,
well… I think it is best for him to do tracks."
2001 World Youth Championships - Debrecen, Hungary July 14th
Usain Bolt in Hungary
Ed Barnes, sports consultant "He didn't look like the rest of the youngsters. Just the way he was built, he looked different than the
others. He was taller than them, very skinny. He stood out from the crowd."
Following his father's advice, Usain turned his back on his first love, cricket, and focused his energies on sprinting. In 2001, aged just
14, he entered his first international competition in Hungary.
Bolt won the heats but was eliminated in the semi-final. The defeat didn't matter. Bolt had proved what his father believed, that he had huge
potential as a printer.
2002 World Junior Championships Kingston, Jamaica July 19
His talent on the track didn't go unnoticed. The next year, he was selected for the world Junior Championships in Kingston. Just 15, Bolt
lined up against athletes 3 to 4 years his senior.
Wellesley Bolt "He didn't want to go because he said he just didn't think he could beat those guys, you know? But he was persuaded by his
grandmother and his mother."
Jennifer Bolt "He started to cry and we told him that he shouldn't worry about that. He's going out there and whatever he's done, we'll
accept it. He dried up his tears and the next morning he was out. The crowd started to roar and everybody was just shouting 'Bolt! Bolt!'"
A Pensive Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt "I became the lightning bolt of the world. That was still and will always be my greatest moment., that was my first move, a salute
to the crowd. People love it. I remember everything about it."
That race won him instant national recognition. Overnight, Bolt became the new star of Jamaican sprinting.
The Jamaican Boys and Girls Championships, better known as the Champs. Described as the world's finest talent-sporting event, this inter-schools
competition has been putting young Jamaican athletes to the test for over 100 years. Bolt arrives at the Champs to meet his biggest fans.
Usain ran in the Champs when he was 16. He won the 200m and then, running in driving rain, knocked more than a second off the Jamaican
record in the 400m. Usain ended his 2003 season as one of the world's top 10 athletes in the 200m. Foreign sponsors and American colleges
began queueing up to sign him.
Usain and Mum
Usain Bolt "I was really close to my mum. I've never really lived for long away from my parents, only like, a week, maybe a weekend. I was
always with my parents. For me to go and live somewhere else by myself, was going to be hard. For me, I didn't want to go."
Instead of going overseas, Usain chooses the high-performance athletics centre in Kingston. For a teenager from a small village it's still
an enormous leap.
Jennifer Bolt "It was really hard, knowing that he was so young, moving into Kingston and not having a mother around. At least he didn't have
any women around at the time. We knew we'd have to get a helper for him. So you don't know what the outcome would be. It was really challenging."
Life changed rapidly for the young star. He signed a sponsorship deal worth tens of thousands of dollars and hired himself an agent. He was
soon appearing on the cover of an international magazine and getting a taste of life in the media spotlight.
On 11 April 2004, Bolt shatters the 200-metre junior world record. To this day, he remains the only junior to run the race in under 20
seconds. 17 years old and the world's most promising young sprinter, Bolt looks set for stardom at the Olympic Games in Athens later that
year. But a series of injuries means he is forced to bow out of a major athletics meeting in Kingston and it's clear he's not fully fit for
Athens. But Bolt chooses to ignore advice and takes part, anyway.
2004 Olympic Games - Athens, Greece August 24
Wellesley Bolt "I didn't think he should go. He didn't merit on that team but they selected him. I knew he was not going to do well because he
was not on par with his training because of his sickness and so forth."
Running with a torn hamstring, Bolt is eliminated in the heats of his first Olympic Games.
Sadeeki Bolt "A lot of people would have failed in Athens and never recovered. Not Usain, he just went along, enjoying what he was doing."
Following his Olympic defeat, Usain makes a decision that will change his life. He takes on a new trainer, Glenn Mills, then head coach of
the Jamaican Olympic team. Mills has moulded dozens of sprinters, including Kim Collins, the 100m world champion in 2003. For Mills, there is
only one focus – the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Glenn Mills "He was recovering from a torn hamstring. the whole question of muscle strength and overall body weakness where some of the areas
that we looked at. Well, he was young and inexperienced and didn't quite understand fully what it meant to be a professional athlete. He was always
enthusiastic. He was determined to do well, but there were a number of things that we had to, you now, find a gem about this dedication to
training, application, following up the little details."
At 6 foot five, and weighing 220lbs, Usain is unusually tall for a sprinter. Mills forces him to concentrate on strength and speed, pushing
Bolt's body to the limit in weight training sessions lasting one and a half hours, three times a week.
Glenn Mills "He has some very special qualities, both as a competitor and as a person. He has the ability to focus almost instantly and he learns
very fast. He's not a workaholic, but he will work hard if he ever finds himself in a situation where it is necessary."
Usain bolt "Yes, we can. Imagine me, black president, man. Fastest black president!"
The session today will be tough. This 30-minute massage prepares Usain for the pain ahead.
Usain Bolt "I think a lot of people, they see you run and they say, Oh, it look so easy. It really looks effortless. But, before it gets to
that point, day in, day out – sacrifice, day in, day out – just dying. There is time when you run and you just want to stop. You just want to
give up, say, to hell with this. I just want to go home. The day when you get up and you know you have a training today, you know it's going
to be intense, like, oh, God! I don't want to go today, but you've got to. And it's so hard, and a lot of people don't know. My coach always
says, 'In a couple of years, we are not going to have any track because you're going to take all at home!'"
2008 Olympic Games – Beijing, China August 16
Finally, after four years of hard work, Usain is ready for the games in Beijing. He's 21 about to enter Olympic history.
Usain Bolt "I'll never forget it. I was so amazed that I got it, I didn't know what to do, I didn't know how to celebrate. I was like… I was so happy."
Glenn Mills "It was always my dream to coach an Olympic champion who was lightning and exciting, and rewarding, in terms of satisfaction."
3 billion viewers watch as Bolt smashes the 100m world record. It's a victory that makes him the focal point of the games. The athlete is now
in a league of his own and intends to stay there. In the 200m, Bolt wins his second gold medal and breaks another world record. Then, alongside
his team-mates, he wins a third gold and sets a new world record for the 4 x 100m relay. Three gold medals, three world records. It's an
achievement unparalleled in the history of athletics.
In just seven days, Bolt has become a national hero and an international sporting icon.
||Usain Bolt, My Story -
||Gold Rush -