Monday 21 September, 2020

This Day In 2012: Usain Bolt created history at London Olympics

Usain Bolt.

Usain Bolt.

On this day in 2012, August 5, the now legendary sprint king, Usain Bolt, sped to victory in a new Olympic record at the London Olympics, defending the title he won four years earlier in Beijing.

One of Bolt’s favourite admirers, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has long credited Bolt with “saving” the sport of track and field in the wake of numerous doping scandals over the years, has no intention of letting us forget that record run on a typical London night anytime soon.

In a tweet on Wednesday the IOC said “#OnThisDay in 2012. @UsainBolt set a new Olympic record and we will NEVER get bored of re-watching it”.

When Bolt sent Jamaicans into rapturous joy on that memorable night, the New York Times paid tribute to the sprinter who would go on to win another Olympic 100-metre title four years later in Rio, in glowing terms.

Said the Times: “Four years later, still no one can catch Usain Bolt.

"He is still No. 1, still the Olympic champion at 100 metres, still the fastest man alive, still history’s greatest sprinter, still unmatched in his stirring ability to rise to the moment”.

The tribute continued: “Having completed his work Sunday night in 9.63 seconds, an Olympic record, the second-fastest time ever run, Bolt put on a celebratory show for the 80,000 people in the stadium and the millions more watching from afar. His performance, after all, had happened just hours before Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, a combination of events that gave rise to celebrations from Brixton to Kingston”.

As Jamaicans around the globe get ready to celebrate the 58th anniversary of the country’s independence from Britain on Thursday, August 6, today is the perfect time to relive the fitting independence present Bolt gave to an entire nation four years ago.

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