• Jacqueline Cameron

Famous Jamaicans: Usain Bolt, Now a Family Man and Still a Legend

Updated: Jun 30

Famous Jamaicans, Jamaican People, Jamaica Attractions, Jamaican Culture


“Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.” - Usain Bolt


I have followed Bolt throughout his running career and have found that when Bolt runs, I run also – Jackie, Jamaica and the world is backing Bolt. People come together in town squares, homes, venues, shops… to cheer Bolt. What excitement, hearing cheers erupt across my community and Jamaica when Bolt wins a race. This is good for Jamaica and the world, as Usain is such a likeable person that everyone wants him to win.


Who Is Usain Bolt?

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is arguably the fastest man in the world. He won three gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, and became the first man in Olympic history to win both the 100-meter and 200-meter races in record times. Bolt also won three Olympic gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. He ran the men's 100-meter race in 9.63 seconds, a new Olympic record, making him the first man in history to set three world records in Olympic competition. He made history again at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio when he won gold in the 100-meter and 200-meter race and 4x100-meter relay.


"To De World!"


"Bolt was born relatively poor in terms of economics, but was rich, was rich with talent, rich with life, rich with substance; and to see somebody like that rise to win an Olympic gold medal, like that was what the world needed!" - Chronixx


"I found the drive and I was relentless in the want to become the greatest, so for me it was like, I found it, I did it, it took a lot of hard work and guts and focus and concentration. It's not easy, people feel like it's simple and I had to remind myself at this stage that you have a goal for yourself and if you don't win this year, then all you have done doesn't really matter and that's one of the things that kept me going." - Usain Bolt in Rio 2016


Early Years

The Hon. Usain Bolt was born on 21st August 1986 to parents Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt in Sherwood Content, Trelawny, a small town in Jamaica. His parents ran the local grocery store in the rural area and Bolt spent his time playing cricket and football in the street. Bolt later commented, "When I was young, I didn't think about anything other than sports." His mother described his world record breaking performances as “natural,” noting that he demonstrated tremendous athletic ability from age twelve.

As a child, Bolt attended Waldensia Primary, where he began showing his sprint potential. By the age of twelve, Bolt had become the school's fastest runner over the 100 meters distance. Upon his entry to William Knibb Memorial High School, Bolt continued to focus on other sports. His cricket coach noticed Bolt's speed on the pitch and urged him to try track and field events. Pablo McNeil, a former Olympic sprint athlete, and Dwayne Jarrett both coached Bolt, encouraging him to focus his energy on improving his athletic abilities. The school had a history of success in athletics with past students, including sprinter Michael Green. Bolt won his first annual high school championship medal in 2001; he took the silver medal in the 200 meters with a time of 22.04 seconds. McNeil soon became his primary coach. The two enjoyed a positive partnership, although McNeil was occasionally frustrated by Bolt's lack of dedication to his training and his penchant for practical jokes.


Usain Bolt first gained attention as a track prodigy at the 2002 World Junior Championships. Racing before a crowd of 36,000 in Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston, Bolt won a gold medal in the 200-meter race. He was just 15 years old at the time becoming the youngest-ever male world junior champion in any event.


At age 16 Bolt cut the junior (age 19 and under) 200-meter world record to 20.13 seconds, and at age 17 he ran the event in 19.93 seconds, becoming the first teenager to break 20 seconds in the race. However, hampered by a hamstring injury, he failed to advance beyond the 200-meter heats at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and placed last in the 2005 world track-and-field championships final.


At 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 meters) tall, Bolt defied the conventional wisdom that very tall sprinters are disadvantaged as fast starters. In 2007 he appeared newly dedicated to his training and earned a silver medal in the 200 meters at the World Championships. He also persuaded his coach to let him try the 100 meters, and he ran 10.03 seconds in his first professional race at the distance. On May 3, 2008, he lowered his best time to 9.76 seconds, then the world’s second fastest mark. Four weeks later in New York City, Bolt broke the world record, running 9.72 seconds to defeat world champion Tyson Gay.



"When Usain Bolt win a race, de whole world feel like dem win a race!" - Chronixx


"It's the dream of every coach to have a talented athlete, and to have one as talented as Bolt is extra special!" - Glen Mills


Records and Awards

Bolt is an 11-times world champion. He holds the world records in races: 100 meters, at 9.58 seconds; and 200-meters, at 19.19 seconds. Both records were made at the 2009 Berlin World Athletics Championships. Over the course of his career, Bolt has received numerous awards, including: the IAAF World Athlete of the Year (twice); Track & Field Athlete of the Year; and Laureus Sportsman of the Year. Participating in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 summer Olympic Games, Bolt completed a "triple-triple," with a total of 9 gold medals earned in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100-meter relay races. In 2017, however, the International Olympic Committee stripped Bolt of one of these medals. The one for the 2008 4x100-meter relay, because his teammate, Nesta Carter was found guilty of a doping violation.


In 2017, Bolt faced challenges on the track at the World Athletics Championships. He finished third in the men's 100 meters, taking home the bronze medal. It was the first time that Bolt was beaten at a World Athletic Championships since 2007. His struggles didn't end there as in the 4x100-meter relay, Bolt's supposedly final race, he collapsed from a hamstring injury. He then crossed the finish line with the help of his teammates.

In August 2017, following the World Athletic Championships, Bolt announced his retirement from track and field. “For me I don’t think one championship is going to change what I’ve done,” he said at a press conference. “I personally won’t be one of those persons to come back.”


Usain Bolt's 10 Rules For Success


Personal Life

Bolt, like most Jamaicans, expresses a love for dancing, and he is frequently described as laid-back and relaxed. His Jamaican track and field idols include Herb McKenley and former Jamaican 100 m and 200 m World record holder, Don Quarrie. Michael Johnson, the former 200 m world and Olympic record holder, is also held in high esteem by Bolt.


Bolt has the nickname "Lightning Bolt" due to his name and speed. He is Catholic and known for making the sign of the cross before racing competitively, and he wears a miraculous medal during his races.


In 2010, Bolt also revealed his fondness of music, when he played a reggae DJ set to a crowd in Paris. He is also an avid fan of the "Call of Duty" video game series, saying, "I stay up late (playing the game online), I can't help it."


Usain published a memoir “My Story: 9:58: The World’s Fastest Man” in 2010, which was reissued two years later as "The Fastest Man Alive: The True Story of Usain Bolt." In his autobiography, Bolt reveals that he has suffered from scoliosis. His condition shows in a curve in his spine to the right, and which has made his right leg half an inch shorter than his left.


He popularized the "Lightning Bolt" pose, also known as "to di world" or "bolting", which he used before races and in celebration. The pose consists of extending a slightly raised left arm to the side and the right arm folded across the chest, with both hands having the thumb and index finger outstretched. His performance of the pose during his Olympic and World Championship victories led to widespread copying of the move. The American President Barack Obama copied the "Lighting Bolt" to small children. It has been suggested that the pose comes from Jamaican dancehall moves of the period; Olympic sprint champion Bernard Williams also had performed similar celebration moves earlier.


I Am A Winner!

After Retirement from Sports

While Bolt's career in football was short lived, his results on track has left him the undisputed sprint king. He bowed out of the Games as a legend, his accomplishments immortalized in the record books.


The 34-year-old is currently an ambassador for several international brands and has also expanded his restaurant business outside of Jamaica. Bolt Mobility, the Miami-based micro-mobility startup co-founded by Usain Bolt, is expanding to 48 new markets after acquiring the assets of Last Mile Holdings.


According to Forbes and other reports, Bolt's net worth currently amounts to US$31 million. With multiple sponsors, he makes most of his money with deals and sponsors he has a tie-up with. According to reports, his deals and endorsements have continued to carry on. Forbes mentioned Puma as his "biggest deal", which earns Bolt over US$10 million every year.

He also made it to the World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2018.

Usain Bolt, the Man

Usain Bolt's Family

Usain Bolt has been with his girlfriend Kasi Bennett for years. In May 2020, Bennet gave birth to their daughter Olympia Lightning Bolt. While the couple has been together for years, they are yet to tie the knot.


When Usain Bolt announced the birth of his daughter last year his fans were amazed at the choice of the name he gave her - Olympia Lightning. The Jamaican sprinter was nicknamed 'Lightning Bolt' given his prowess on the track and his daughter's name seems to be a way for people to recognize the legacy he left behind.


Usain Bolt's twins were born in June 2021. The couple recently made this timely announcement via their social media handles on Father’s Day. However, while fans had been up to date about his daughter Olympia's birth, they were surprised to learn about the birth of his sons. That was not the only thing that surprised fans; Bolt named his sons – Saint Leo Bolt and Thunder Bolt. This ended up being a play on the moniker "Lightning Bolt." Fans love the children's names.


“Olympia Lightning Bolt; Saint Leo Bolt; Thunderbolt Bolt,” the proud dad captioned an adorable family photo that featured him, Kasi, their one-year-old daughter, Olympia Lightning Bolt, and newborns Saint and Thunder.


Usain Bolt's Family


Reflections

Now 34 and retired from athletics, Bolt has had time to reflect on a remarkable career. Of his numerous accolades, however, there is one that stands out well above the rest for the Jamaican. "It's always going to be the (Olympic) gold medals," without hesitation Bolt tells CNN Sport. "I think that's what really stamped my authority on the sport, you know what I mean, I showed my dominance throughout the years. "Yeah, I'm very proud of being the fastest man in the world, but it takes so much to do three back-to-back Olympics and win those, so for me I'm most proud of my gold medals."


The Image of Usain Bolt Smiling Mid-Race that went Viral

“I don’t think limits.” … Usain Bolt


"So, for me, this is why I pushed myself so hard to dominate, because I know at any point in time somebody can just break your record and then if you put so much on that, then what do you have left?" - Usain Bolt


"You see this child that I grew up with is ... boy influencing the world is really special. It gives me a sense of purpose like I contributed to something great. He ain't here trying to be political or revolutionary, his whole quest is just to make people smile. That's why the world respond to him so much - the time when the world is in chaos, he is all just about smiling. 9:58 seconds puts the world in euphoria!" - Childhood Friend


"I've dedicated all my life to being the best and to being the best track and field person I can possibly be... trying to be a legend, trying to be the greatest, trying to being unstoppable, trying to being undefeated. I've dedicated my life to this... if I was an emotional guy right now, I would be kind for sure as it's being such a long journey... and now for me it's like it's finally over I'm sad but I'm relieved that its over... I've done it. I've done what I set out to do in the sport. I am just happy that this chapter is closed and I can just relax... go on vacation... eat some junk food and just live!" - Usain Bolt in Rio 2016


"I have no doubt that there will be a faster runner than Usain Bolt in the future, but the world will always remember Usain Bolt."


DISCLAIMER: The above Usain Bolt net worth 2021 information is sourced from various websites/ media reports. The website does not guarantee a 100% accuracy of the figures.

References

Bolt Mobility launching into 48 new markets after snapping up Last Mile’s assets | TechCrunch

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/15/sport/usain-bolt-athletics-olympics-tokyo-2020-cmd-spt-intl/index.html

https://jamaicans.com/usain-bolt-quotes-you-need-in-your-life/

https://olympics.com/en/news/my-sports-life-is-over-usain-bolt-confirms-retirement-from-all-sport

https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/other-sports/usain-bolt-net-worth-2021-details-about-family-life-and-top-speed.html

https://www.republicworld.com/sports-news/other-sports/usain-bolt-wins-hearts-on-instagram-with-adorable-first-birthday-message-for-daughter.html

Biography, Usain Bolt Biography, https://www.biography.com/athlete/usain-bolt

Usain Bolt, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usain_Bolt

Famous Jamaican, Usain St. Leo Bolt, https://jis.gov.jm/information/famous-jamaicans/usain-st-leo-bolt/

Usain Bolt | Biography, Speed, Height, Medals, & Facts | Britannica

Usain Bolt shares first photo of new born twins – Nairobi News (nation.co.ke)


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Jacqueline Cameron is an editor/writer with years of writing experience running the gamut from blogging to reporting. She lives in Kingston, Jamaica and is the chief writer for the Jamaica So Nice Blog. She is a trained engineer and musician and loves to see people transformed through her work.