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How Usain Bolt’s Speed Made Him Filthy Rich
AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File

9.58, 27.79, 6-5, 207. It doesn’t matter how you measure him. Usain Bolt is fast.

(Key: seconds, mph, feet-inches, pounds.)

Usain Bolt is a transcendent track and field sprinter. He ranks amongst the Michael Phelps and Ferraris of the world, instantly recognizable wherever he goes. How could you miss him? The Jamaican sprinter is giant with a personality to match. Pretty much everything about the world’s fastest man is quick, from his lifestyle to his records.

Usain Bolt holds 19 Guinness Book World Records, but those are from when he was an athlete. These days, Bolt works as a music producer and DJ on a different kind of track for the super athlete. The 34-year-old Bolt’s unearthly speed has made him a quick buck since 2008. He’s not slowing down in retirement.

Who is Usain Bolt?

Usain St. Leo Bolt was born in Sherwood Content of Trelawny Parish, Jamaica. Wellesley and Jennifer, Bolt’s parents, had two other children, Sadiki and Sherine. As his parents focused on their grocery store, Bolt focused on sports despite his scoliosis. Bolt grew into his body, clearly built for speed.

The William Knibb Memorial High School cricket coach noticed Bolt’s otherworldly potential and convinced Bolt to try track. There, coaches Pablo McNeil and Dwayne Garret nurtured Bolt’s innate talent while learning to deal with his rambunctiousness.

When young Bolt, in the throws of a youthful prank, nearly got himself arrested at a meet, Bolt convinced his peers the arrest was McNeil’s fault. McNeil weathered the storm, determined to capture lightning in a bottle.

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Bolt set records in the CARIFTA Games, Central American and Caribbean Junior Championship, and Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association. The Prime Minister of Jamaica arranged for Bolt to move to Kingston for training, and Bolt bolted for Jamaica’s capital. There, Bolt partied a bit too much. The speed king had a penchant for the Burger King, and it nearly derailed his young career.

A new coach named Fitz Coleman got Bolt off fast food and onto the fast track. A hamstring injury dashed Bolt’s Olympic dreams in Athens with the 2004 Jamaica Olympic squad. He returned to Kingston for training, determined to bring home gold.

The Fastest Man Ever

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Bolt ran it back and faster than ever at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning gold in the 200-meter and 400-meter sprint. He repeated his feat in London during the 2012 Olympic Games, adding a 4×100-meter relay gold to the count.

He then repeated all three golds at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, an unprecedented feat on the track. Bolt won eight Olympic gold medals, 11 World Championships, one World Junior Championship and one World Youth Championship. Bolt’s speed is unlike any sprinter the world has seen before. We are not even sure how fast he really is.

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Bolt is known for looking at cameras mid-race, starting his celebration before the finish line and striking his world-famous “lightning bolt” pose. Had Bolt been stricter about his training, who knows what he could’ve done? Then again, he wouldn’t be Bolt.

The Olympic sprinter’s relaxed approach to the track has paid off. He’s won IAAF World Athlete of the Year, Track and Field World Athlete of the Year and four Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Awards.

Playful since his days as a teenage track star, The Lightning Bolt never lost his love for the game. It’s no wonder he owns the 100-meter and 200-meter world records and lays claim to the “fastest man in the world” title.

Bolt’s Type B approach to life lends him charm instead of arrogance. Bolt is easy on camera, equipped with a quick wit to speed. It pays to be the fastest man in the world.

Sponsorships, Endorsement Deals and Family

The track and field athlete runs with Puma. Bolt moves faster than a wild cat, so the deal is appropriate. He also collects checks from Gatorade, Visa, Virgin Media, Nissan and Hublot Watches. Bolt is reportedly making $10 million per year for being Puma’s brand ambassador.

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Bolt founded an electric vehicle company named after himself. Bolt Mobility has scooters in major cities internationally and raised $30 million in venture capital last year. Bolt will also appear at your local track meet if you can afford him. For a small appearance fee of $300,000, you too can see the world’s fastest man live from the bleachers of your local high school.

Like many people looking for their next thing, Bolt also moonlights as a DJ. He appeared in a bizarre cartoon pilot produced by Puma and KidSuperSCRAM! was doomed from the start. Bolt also made a cameo in a 2012 episode of SNL. The sketch was only slightly more successful than the cartoon.

Bolt and his girlfriend Kasi Bennett had a daughter in 2020 named Olympia Lightning Bolt. (It is the Greatest Name Ever Bequeathed. I won’t hear any arguments otherwise.) In June 2021, Bennet gave birth to their second and third children, twins Saint Leo Bolt and Thunder Bolt. (I rescind my previous statement.)

Bolt caught COVID-19 after his 34th birthday celebration. He semi-apologized for irresponsibility and lived to tell the tale.

The greatest sprinter of all time is a gold medalist and a car enthusiast. He owns BMWs, Nissan GT-Rs and other racing machines not nearly as impressive as Bolt. The retired sprinter is a millionaire, whether he returns to the track or not.

Usain Bolt’s Net Worth

Usain Bolt is the fastest and wealthiest runner in human history. Bolt retired from running in 2017 as one of the highest-paid athletes in the world.

After a short stint in Australian A-League soccer with Central Coast Mariners, Bolt retired from professional sports in 2019. Forbes had reported Bolt earned a yearly salary of $31 million just the year before.

Usain Bolt is worth an estimated $90 million in 2021, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Despite his retirement, he was still the Las Vegas favorite to win the 200-meter race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. With Bolt, anything seems possible.

Usain Bolt is the most aptly named star athlete to go supernova. The undisputed fastest man in the world set records without trying, smiled at the camera while winning and made people from Kingston to Beijing smile in the process.

Bolt was built to run, but his true gift is joy. Whether he strikes again or not, we’ve all witnessed history. Lightning struck eight times in the Olympics. Blink…and you might’ve missed it.

MORE: What Happened to Carl Lewis and Where is the Olympic Legend Now?

Daniell Marlow is an LA-based freelance writer for Buzzfeed, ScreenRant, and FanBuzz.  He is a Georgia Bulldog with a California Shih-Tzu and a lover of all types of football. Daniell runs a travel blog when he's not covering the sports world. Feel free to give it a Google.
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