Usain Bolt: How More Gold Medals Will Impact Track Legacy

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2012

DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 04:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica poses with his gold medal during the medal ceremony for the men's 200 metres final during day nine of 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships at Daegu Stadium on September 4, 2011 in Daegu, South Korea.  (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

As an Olympic athlete, you only have the opportunity to showcase your skills to the masses. Usain Bolt took the track and field world by storm four years ago at Beijing, and will look to do the same thing, if not more, in London. 

For those that don't recall, let's rewind the clocks back to 2008 for a moment. Bolt won three gold medals and set three world records in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100-meter relay. He became, along with Michael Phelps, THE story of that event. 

Now, here we are four years later, and Bolt comes into the Olympics as one of the biggest stars and favored to win all three events he is entering. 

So what will three more gold medals mean for Bolt and his legacy on the track?

It would at the very least put Bolt up there with the greatest track and field athletes in the history of the Olympics. In fact, depending on whether or not he is able to break his own world records, Bolt should be put in the top two or three of athletes. 

Everything that Olympic athletes do is geared toward this one moment. Bolt proved four years ago that he is a special, different track and field runner than we have seen before. He set those records without going full speed, which only makes you wonder how much better he can be. 

For almost every sports fan, winning and dominance determines greatness. There is a reason that people consider Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, John Elway and Albert Pujols the best players in their respective sports in the last 25 years. 

Bolt has already proven that he is great and dominant, but if he is able to sustain that level of dominance over the course of two Olympics he becomes something more than just a great, dominant athlete. He becomes a transcendent, legendary, revered figure who will be the standard by which all future track and field runners are measured. 

That is a lot of pressure to put on Bolt, but he certainly has the skills and talent to handle it.