Almanac Olympics – Usain Bolt and the irresistible tide

Wherever he goes, yer man Usain Bolt brings a crowd.
An entertainer, both on and off the track.
But all of it, his everything, is propelled by his feats of running.
By his running feet.

Until today, no track athlete in Olympic history had won three gold medals in one discipline…

(Below are three YouTube clips. To view clips from 2008 and 2012 you need to follow the link out to YouTube.)


Beijing 2008
As a 21-year-old he stormed Beijing with that streeting of a quality field.
Daylight was second; even though he turned off before the finish line.
And won in a World Record time.

Follow the “watch this on YouTube” link to watch it


London 2012
As a 25-year-old celebrity then, he stormed London, as the Biggest Start in the Biggest Show On Earth.
Dancing, posing.


(race starts at 5:00mins in the above YouTube).



Rio de Janeiro 2016
And now to today.
After the rapping-with-Norwegian-reporter-and-Samba-dancing press conference.
After all the expectation.
After everything.
And one week before his 30th birthday.
No track athlete in Olympic history had won three gold medals in one discipline…



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About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He is married and has two daughters and the four of them all live together with their dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    He certainly didn’t “choke” Perhaps one doesn’t when so cl;early better that the rest of the field.

  2. He is a super star. Our swimmers could learn a lot from him. Whilst we might train our swimmers to project a positive image in the media, it seems we don’t teach them how to race. And if we are putting taxpayers money into swimming to the tune of $38m per annum I don’t want a red hot favourite to leave the pool after finishing 7th and say “oh well, I’m happy with 7th.” Well, I’m not and I helped pay for your bathers!!

    Would Usain be happy with 7th? I don’t think so.

    Anna Meares, Catherine Skinner, and Kyle Chalmers come to mind as athletes who can race.

  3. Absolute superstar huge claims by both Bolt and Phelps being the greatest athlete of all time thanks OBP

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    This is the equivalent of seeing Bradman in his prime. Such an important race. Good beats evil. What a superstar. Hope he can get gold in the 200m and the relay to round out a superlative career.

  5. A fantastic performance by U Bolt. He can talk the talk and walk the walk.

    As for debates regarding the greatest athlete of all, the conversation surely starts with M Phelps. A 31-year old in the pool? Jeebus!!

  6. Magnificent to watch. (I have just watched his 200 heat). He is both pure performer/technician and fierce competitor.

    The racing issue is huge for the Australians who go in with high expectations. W.K. Trewick and Rick Mitchell – two athletes I respect (and admire)) have very similar views. You have to compete. And you have to find a way to win.

    I am detecting a big difference between the psyches of the Australian track and field athletes and the swim team. Perhaps Kyle Chalmers won because he’s new to the system.

    The swimmers, in post-race interviews (as unfair as it might be to have a mic shoved in your face at a time of profound disappointment) sound rather lost to me. Like they’ve had the psych sessions but they’re paying lip-service to the coping mechanisms put in place. “My self-worth is not tied up in my results” is an unusual thing to say. That someone is commenting on their own self worth at that moment is intriguing.

    But, heh, I’m sitting in a loungeroom in The People’s Republic nibbling on Twisties.

  7. Mmm, Luke, I’d like to believe it is “good beats evil” (as I am sure Seb Coe & IAAF do), but somehow, I’m just not so sure…..
    Howsabout David Rudisha? Again!
    Ryan Gregson looked comfortable in his heat overnight too.

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