In just a few hours, Usain Bolt will be racing to win his second consecutive gold in the Olympic 100m, the holy grail of track sports accolades.
Three-times Olympic gold medallist already and twice Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award winner, Usain Bolt already has plenty of acheivements to his name. But can the world’s fastest man carve his name into Olympic history at the London 2012 Games?
Aiming to be a legend at sport, Bolt believes this takes “being on top every year, winning all the championships.” But having, for the first time, a serious competitor in Yohan Blake, who beat him in the Jamaican trials, does he still feel he can fulfil his aim of going on to win everything possible?
Remaining sanguine about his competitors, Bolt says, “well, the confident guys, they just want to beat me, but all these guys are scared, worried, like here he goes...”
So what does the world’s fastest man think about in the moments before the starting gun fires? Not what you’d imagine. The famously laid back Jamaican hasn’t let the pressure to remain on top get to him. Bolt says “I think about playing video games after the race, or maybe going to the party where we are going to club tonight. I try to relax, so that’s what I think about at the line
But maybe that’s because of the relaxed attitude of his team. Speaking of the moment after his first serious 100m in Jamaica, when the world record first came within his grasp, Bolt says, “I was sitting down saying this could be possible. [My coach] said ‘well you can just go and do your best, we’re not worried about the record but if you get it that would be great.’”
But Bolt admits there’s hard work too, particularly as he is doubling up with both the 100m and 200m. “It’s very hard to do eight rounds in one championship, so it’s all about the hard work and determination. And that’s what kept me going….the drive to win.”
And that drive to win is certainly under the spotlight during this year’s Olympic Games, with growing speculation he can shave moments off his 100m world record, a record which currently stands at 9.74 seconds, to 9.56 or even 9.54 seconds.
Believing himself to be in great shape, he says, “my philosophy is anything’s possible, so I just go out there and do my best at all times.” It seems “Lightning” Bolt is once again poised to set the world of athletics on fire.