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Usain Bolt: Athletics

Usain Bolt was born on 21 August 1986 in the small town of Sherwood Content in Jamaica. Known as the "Lightning Bolt", he is the world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay, and was Olympic champion in these events from 2008-2016. His career achievements and dominance in world championships and Olympic Games have many people considering him as the greatest sprinter of all time, and greatest Olympian of all time (though Michael Phelps also hold claim to this).

Bolt appeared at four Olympics. At his first in 2004 he failed to impress, but more than made up for that in later years. At the 2008 Olympics, he became the first person to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m sprints, all in world record times (though the relay win was later taken away). In 2012 and 2016 he repeated the 100m, 200m and relay treble.

Greatest Sporting Achievements

Usain Bolt lightning bolt poseUsain Bolt is well known for his lightning bolt pose

Why Was He So Good?

Usain Bolt is 6 foot 4 inches (193 cm) tall, which is taller than most sprinters, and such height and increased mass associated with that would normally be detrimental to sprinting. To his advantage, his physical height gives him a longer stride length than his rivals, while he is still able to maintain a similar stride frequency. Bolt typically completes a 100m race in about 41 steps, three or four fewer than his rivals. His physical size combined with a good work ethic and running form has created possibly the world's greatest sprinter.

What You May Not Know

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Profiles Extra

There are profiles of past athlete champions from a large range of sports. See also profiles of Olympic athletes and pages about sporting heroes.

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