Usain Bolt Just Set An Olympic Record

by Seth Millstein

At the 2016 Rio Games, Jamaican runner Usain Bolt broke an incredible Olympic record on Aug. 14, taking home the gold in the 100-meter sprint — just as he did in 2008 and 2012 — in 9.81 seconds. With his success at Rio, Bolt has won three consecutive gold medals in that event at three consecutive Olympics — a first in the games' history. That's not the only record he's broken, but it's a massive one nonetheless, and Bolt has definitively cemented his status as one of the fastest humans alive.

Bolt has been in every Olympics since 2004, when he was 17-years-old and, thanks to a busted hamstring, was eliminated before the quarterfinals. Ever since then, however, he's turned in one amazing performance after another. He won gold medals in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100-meter in 2008, and then again in 2012. He's set eight world records throughout his career, and has never once lost an Olympic final in which he competed.

In addition to his outstanding speed and running ability, Bolt is known for his gleeful showboating and post-race celebrations. In 2012, he dropped the ground after winning the 200-meter event and did five push-ups, one for each Olympic gold medal he'd won to that point. He has a signature celebratory move as well, known as "Bolting": After winning a race, he drops to one knee, bends one elbow back and points at the sky.


"I'm now a legend," Bolt said after his victory in the 200-meter race in 2012. "I'm also the greatest athlete to live. I am in the same category as Michael Johnson. I'm honoured [sic]. I grew up watching him break world records. He's a great athlete." Johnson returned the compliment, calling Bolt "great for the sport" and "a phenomenal athlete."

Thanks to his victory in the 100-meter at this year's games, Bolt now has seven Olympic gold medals. And if history is any guide, it may not be his last: Bolt still has the 200-meter and 4x100-meter relay coming up, and he won the gold in both of those events during both of the last two Olympics. As a personal goal, Bolt said that he wants to finish the 200-meter this year in under 19 seconds.

Behind Bolt was America's Justin Gatlin, who took home the silver medal in the 100m with a time of 9.89 seconds. Canada's Andre de Grasse finished the race in 9.91 for the bronze.