Watch Usain Bolt win all of his Olympic gold medals
NBCOlympics.com reflects on the decorated career of Usain Bolt, the fastest man of all time.
The charismatic Jamaican sprinter never disappointed in an Olympic final. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he won three gold medals (100m, 200m, 4x100m), all in world record time. Then at the 2012 London Games, he became the first athlete to sweep the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at consecutive Olympics. He added three more gold medals to his collection at the 2016 Rio Olympics, his final Games.
Watch below to see Bolt win all nine of his Olympic gold medals, as well as his first Olympic race from 2004.
Athens 2004: 200m
Racing at the Olympics for the first time, Bolt finished fifth in his first-round 200m heat and failed to advance to the quarterfinals. Bolt, then 17, was slowed by a left hamstring injury.
He was only able to clock 21.05 seconds, despite entering the Games with the second-fastest time, 19.93 seconds, of 2004.
In his own words: “I didn’t have the heart for it. I could have got into the first four and reached the next round, but I wasn’t interested. I was in fifth place approaching the finish and could have got past the athlete ahead of me but didn’t bother. It didn’t make any sense. Even if I’d made it through, I was never going to be able to do anything and go further. I wanted to get out of Greece, which had been a very bad experience for me.” –Usain Bolt in his book, “The Fastest Man Alive: The True Story of Usain Bolt.”
Beijing 2008: 100m
Bolt made a statement in his first Olympic final. He clocked 9.69 seconds, breaking his own world record, to win his first Olympic gold medal.
It was the first time a man covered 100m in under 9.7 seconds without a significant tailwind.
In his own words: “I was just saying I'm No. 1. This is what I came out here to do, and I made it.” –Usain Bolt said at the time.
Beijing 2008: 200m
Many considered Michael Johnson’s 200m world record of 19.32 seconds to be unbreakable. Bolt lowered the record, which stood for more than 12 years, by .02 seconds to win his second Olympic gold medal.
His margin of victory over silver medalist Shawn Crawford was .66 seconds, the largest margin of victory in an Olympic 200m.
In his own words: "I've been dreaming of this since I was yea high. So it means a lot more to me actually than the 100 means." –Usain Bolt said after the race, according to the AP.
Beijing 2008: 4x100m
Bolt ran the third leg and handed the baton to Asafa Powell in position to lower the 4x100m world record from 37.40 seconds to 37.10 seconds.
Jamaica won five of the six sprinting gold medals (men’s and women’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m) in Beijing. “All I can say is: Yo, Jamaican sprinters, taking over the world,” Bolt said at the time.
In his own words: “People can only dream of doing what he’s done. He’s basically cemented himself as a legend of track and field. I don’t think any performance can top what he’s done here.” –Michael Frater, Bolt’s relay teammate, said at the time according to the AP.
London 2012: 100m
Bolt broke his own Olympic 100m record to win in 9.63 seconds. Fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake claimed the silver medal, followed by U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin.
Bolt immediately turned his attention to defending his 200m title. "It means I'm one step closer to being a legend,” he said at the time. “Now I have to run the 200. I'm looking forward to it, it's my favorite event."
In his own words: “I just ran, pretty much.” –Usain Bolt said after the race.
London 2012: 200m
Jamaican sprinters swept the 200m podium at the 2012 Olympics, with Blake and Warren Weir finishing after Bolt.
After crossing the finish line, Bolt dropped to the track and did five pushups—one for each of the Olympic gold medals he had won so far.
U.S. sprinter Wallace Spearmon, who finished fourth, admitted, “The guy is just on another planet right now.”
In his own words: "I'm now a legend. I'm also the greatest athlete to live." –Usain Bolt said after the race.
London 2012: 4x100m
With Bolt running the anchor leg, Jamaica became the first team to complete the 4x100m relay in under 37 seconds. The United States was stripped of its silver medal after Tyson Gay tested positive for a banned substance.
Mo Farah, who won two Olympic gold medals for Great Britain in London, was stunned watching Bolt. "We're never going to see a legend like him again," Farah said at the time.
In his own words: "For me, as a person, I like to push the barriers. I like to do things nobody has ever done before. It sets you off from other people." –Usain Bolt said after the race.