Looking back at Usain Bolt’s individual Olympic gold medals

Looking back at Usain Bolt's individual Olympic gold medals

RIO DE JANEIRO — Six career individual events, six career individual gold medals. World records in both the 100 and 200 meters. An Olympic résumé unequaled by any other sprinter in the history of the Summer Games.

Usain Bolt (JAM) reacts as he wins gold in the men’s

There is little doubt, if any, that Usain Bolt is the greatest sprinter in the history of track and field. At the very least, he is the most accomplished and decorated athlete to ever grace the sport.

He began his Olympic career at the 2004 Athens Games as an 18-year-old unknown, quickly bowing out with a fifth-place finish in the first round of the 200. Then came the Beijing Games in 2008, and a legend was born. Bolt won gold in the 200 on Thursday night, giving him a 100-200 double gold in each of the past three Olympic Games.

Now that he’s finished with individual events — Bolt is still expected to run as part of Jamaica’s relay team in Rio — let’s take a look back at his unbelievable run through the Summer Games.

2008 100 Meters (9.69 seconds – World Record)

It’s a common sight now — seen again during the semifinals of the 200 meters — but Bolt was so far ahead of the pack in his record-setting 100 in Beijing that he was able to slow down and smile for the cameras as he crossed the finish line.

“We’ve never seen anything like that before,” former 400-meter champion Michael Johnson said at the time.

Bolt stopped after his win to strike an archer’s pose, which has since become a ubiquitous part of his post-race celebrations. It was then a novelty: Bolt was this brash, young, breathtakingly fast talent who took the entire world by storm in 9.69 seconds.

“I wasn’t interested in the world record,” he said. “I didn’t even know I had it until after the victory lap.”

He made it look easy. And the best part? Bolt set the world record despite running the race with an untied shoelace. Imagine how fast he would’ve been with his shoes tied.

2008 200 Meters (19.30 seconds – World Record)

Unlike in the earlier 100 in Beijing, Bolt was clearly angling for the world record: He sprinted through the finish line and immediately looked for his time, which came in at two-hundredths of a second ahead of Johnson’s 12-year-old record.

The rest of the field was simply left racing for silver, a feeling that has become more and more familiar as Bolt has fended off every challenger for his spot as the world’s fastest man.

A day away from his 22nd birthday, Bolt became the first sprinter since Carl Lewis in 1984 to complete the gold-medal double. And he was just getting started.

Thanks from http://www.usatoday.com/


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