And he remains the fastest man alive. Usain Bolt of Jamaica came back to the Olympics with one thing on his mind: “I had to show the world I’m the greatest.”
Bolt lived up to his last name yet again. He ran the 100m in 9.63 seconds, securing the gold medal and a new Olympic record. He was only 0.05 seconds shy of breaking the world record, his world record set in 2009. He knew that he had a legacy to uphold. “A lot of people were saying I wasn’t going to win, I didn’t look good. There was a lot of talk,” Bolt said. “It’s an even greater feeling to come out here and defend my title and show the world I’m still No. 1, I’m still the best.”
After battling back injuries in the years since Beijing, Bolt had a lot of work to do to prove that he was still the fastest man on the planet. The world knew his name after his performances in 2008, and he wanted to keep it that way. For the second time in four years, Bolt won the honor of wearing the Jamaican flag with pride and holding up a single finger to the thousands of people chanting his name.
And although Bolt’s ego tends to get under some people’s skin, it’s impossible to deny that the 25 year-old is anything short of extraordinary. David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune wrote, “Sprinters have egos and auras that make NFL wide receivers seem monastic.” Bolt’s bio on his Twitter page? “The most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen.” (@usainbolt) But despite his excessive confidence, this weekend the world was forced to acknowledge that this man is truly the fastest alive. Who, besides Bolt, could strike twice?
Want to see just how fast Bolt is? Check out all the medalists in the history of the Olympic 100m event.