His journey started with a bet over free lunch.
Once twelve year old Bolt and his friend Ricardo Gedes were arguing over who was the fastest runner. They decided to settle the bet with a race where the winner would receive free lunch. Bolt won the race. A local priest Reverend Nugent overheard them and he said to Bolt that if he could beat Ricardo, he could beat anyone. And that’s how he got into sprinting.
Some other interesting facts-
He was interested in sports while growing up, especially Cricket and football and is even known to have good cricketing skills having hit Gayle and Yuvraj for sixes and even getting Gayle out bowled !
- He is considered unusually tall for a sprinter at 6’5 and he has scoliosis i.e. a spine bent abnormally and yet he has won 8 gold medals at the Olympics!
- He has actually run 100m in less than 9 seconds. This was in the relay split in the London, in the men’s 4×100 metre final, which was given as 8.70 seconds!
- It is a misconception that he is a slow starter. In his 100 metre world record in Beijing, he covered the first 60 m in 6.29 s, which is quicker than the current world record over that distance. Link
- He is involved in a lot of philanthropy, supports Kenya’s wildlife conservation and his Foundation helps local youngsters in sports.
- His sponsorship deal with Puma ensures that every year they send sporting equipment to his high School.
- His ads are filmed in Jamaica, by a Jamaican production crew to boost local enterprise and gain exposure for the country.
This ‘lightening bolt’ is truly a gentle giant!