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What Was Behind The Success Of Usain Bolt?

Usain Bolt is now widely regardless as the most well known and most successful sprinter of all time.

He is now reported to have a massive net worth but with only £1.7m of this actually generated through winning races. He is in the top 100 earning sports stars and the only track and field athlete to achieve this; as well as huge media appeal.  To put it into context he has earned twenty times more than the average sprinter. This is because he has been so successful and loved everyone wants a piece of him, which has meant he has earned incredible amounts of money through sponsorships deals and advertising campaigns with such brands as Virgin, Pokerstars, Puma, Gatorade and Visa, netting him over £23m a year in endorsements.

Usain Bolt

Bolt holds the world records for the 100m, 200m and the 4 x 100 relay and was a reigning Olympic champion for three Olympics, making him the greatest sprinter of all time. Due to his speed he was often nicknamed ‘Lightning Bolt’. Bolt was noticeably taller than nearly all his rivals at 195CM which is believed to be a contributing factor to his speed and success. His height meant that Bolt would take around 41 steps over the 100m race, with his rivals taking between 43-50, with their steps been around 20cm shorter than the 2.5m step of Bolt. At the beginning of a sprint race an athlete would generally want to take short steps in order to accelerate but Bolt can’t do that due to his height, it however means than when he reached his top speed he had a massive advantage as he was taking less steps than anyone else.

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Bolt is from Jamaica and he is not the only extremely good sprinter from his country. Other top sprinters, both men and women have hailed from the nation, such as Yohan Blake and Elaine Thompson. Public health reforms that took place throughout the 20th century are believed to have a lot to do with thus success in running. The reforms helped to improve the overall health of the country’s population which meant that they could take advantage of this in several ways, such as sport. Running was the cheapest sport and so it was the one that benefitted the most. With the health reforms that meant public health practices became entrenched in schools it is unlikely we would have ever seen the speeds achieved by Bolt.  Sprinters are lauded as heroes in Jamaica, rather than any other type of sports star.

When Bolt is asked himself about his success he puts it down to dedication. He believes that he wanted it more than everyone else and always know how successful he would be. His biggest motivator was the fear of losing and this drove him never to give up and sacrifice been able to go out with his and friends and stay up late in order to make it as a sprinter. 

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