Usain Bolt stunned the world in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when he brought home a trio of gold medals for winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay (with his Jamaican teammates), and three world records for the same races. The fol-lowing year, he broke his own records in the 100m (9.58 seconds) and 200m (19.19 seconds) finals at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, and again brought home three gold medals for these events and the 4 x 100m relay (with his Jamaican teammates).
After these iconic achievements, Usain Bolt seemed unstoppable, invincible, and almost inhuman. It was as if nothing could ever unbalance his spikes. During the 2011 Athletic World Championships, Usain Bolt went on to defend his gold med-als in the 200m final and 4 x 100m relay final, as well as attaining another world record (37.04 seconds) in the latter, at the same competition. Usain Bolt then completed his 2011 season by running the 100m in the fastest time of the year (9.76 seconds), at the Diamond League meet in Brussels.
*MIJC: Made in Jamaica Catalogue | UB: Usain Bolt
MIJC: When did you know you wanted to be an athlete? At that time, did you en-vision that you would become the global phenomenon that you are now?
UB: I knew from an early age that I would be an athlete, as everybody thought I was fast. I grew into being a star from 2002 – I lost, got injured, and then returned to show the world what I was made of. Now it’s time to defend my titles, then on to another phase of my life.
MIJC: What do you love the most about running?
UB: I have been successful at my ‘game’ so far and I look forward to defending my Olympic and World Championship titles from the 2008 and 2009 seasons. I look forward to becoming a legend for the sport. I do get to travel to great locations from time to time, when I am competing, so that is fun…sometimes!
MIJC: What would you say are the three most important things that have led to your unparalleled achievements on the track?
UB: I have lost and recovered. I know what hard work is like and I also know what commitment is. One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is “you have to learn to lose to appreciate being a winner”.
MIJC: Who are your sponsors?
UB: PUMA, Gatorade, Digicel and Hublot.
MIJC: What do you endorse?
UB: United Way of Jamaica. I also have my own line of apparel, and I have recently started my own Foundation – The Usain Bolt Foundation – where I seek to undertake projects helping to keep children happy.
MIJC: Tell us about UBTnR (Usain Bolt Tracks and Records). Are you working on any more business ventures now?
UB: Usain Bolt Tracks and Records is one other aspect of my business side I am exploring. It is a mix of the best of food and entertainment in the city of Kingston. All three of which I enjoy! It has the latest sound and technology a sports bar could ever have in this side of the world.
MIJC: You play as hard as you work. How do you manage to do that?
UB: I do that to create balance in my life. It makes a lot of things easier.
MIJC: 50 years is a milestone for Jamaica. What would you like to see Jamaica achieve over the next 50 years?
UB: Jamaica has a rich tradition in sport, so I’d like to see better, and more, facilities that are accessible to the talent we have here. Jamaica could look at a more effective political system aimed at empowering people.
MIJC: What are your favourite ‘Made in Jamaica’ things?
UB: Certainly the food and the music.
MIJC: If you were not in athletics, what would you be doing?
UB: I would definitely still be in sport, playing either football or cricket.
MIJC: What do you wish people would ask you more about?
UB: Oh, I have been asked every question I could ever get asked…I can’t think of anything right now (UB smiles).