Before they were superstars: Usain Bolt

BEIJING - AUGUST 20:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men's 200m Final at the National Stadium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
BEIJING - AUGUST 20: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men's 200m Final at the National Stadium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Ever wondered what your favourite sportspeople were like before they were super-mega-famous? Every week Tokyo 2020 will give you a glimpse into what life was like for some of the world’s greatest athletes before they were stars.

The deets

  • Name: Usain “Lightning” Bolt
  • Age: 33
  • Nationality: Jamaican
  • Profession: Sprinter
Usain Bolt at 17
06:18

What has he achieved?

What hasn’t he achieved? Usain Bolt has won eight (yes, eight!) Olympic gold medals, including 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016). He also holds the current world records in the 100m (9.58 seconds), 200m (19.19 seconds) and 4 x 100m (36.84 seconds). As a youngster, Bolt showed his immense promise by setting world under-20 and world under-18 records in the 200m. Not a bad haul in the end!

BERLIN - AUGUST 16:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 100 Metres Final during day two of the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on August 16, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Bolt set a new World Record of 9.58.  (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
BERLIN - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 100 Metres Final during day two of the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on August 16, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Bolt set a new World Record of 9.58. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
2009 Getty Images

Surprising fact

The secret to Usain Bolt’s speed may come from an unlikely source. According to rumour, the honey produced in Sherwood Content - the area that Bolt grew up - packs people full of energy. (Disclaimer: The secret may also be the thousands of hours of training Bolt put in over many, many years of competition).

What’s he up to now?

Following his retirement from the sport in 2017, Usain Bolt chased a childhood dream of becoming a footballer, turning out as a left-winger for Australian A-League club Central Coast Mariners. He even spent time training with German Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund. More recently, he’s been seen back in Jamaica working on a number of business ventures.