Usain Bolt: Why Track Star Will Shine on London Stage

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27:  Reigning Olympic Men's 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt of the Jamaica Olympic athletics team carries his country's flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Usain Bolt will go for three more gold medals at the 2012 London Games.

In 2008, Bolt set world records in the 100- and 200-mater and 4x100-meter relay races. The Jamaican became an international superstar with his performances assisted by his glowing personality.

A year later at the World Championships he broke the 100 and 200 world record again by becoming the first, and only to date, to run under 9.6 seconds in the 100. A blistering speed to say the least.

However, in the past two years a major contender emerged in fellow countryman Yohan Blake. Blake gave pause that Bolt could repeat his success and that Bolt may be losing a step.

Blake took the 2011 World Championships and defeated him once again at the Olympic Trials in Jamaica. Although, it should be noted Bolt was disqualified from the 2011 Worlds due to a false start.

But Bolt is a superstar. Superstars rise to the occasion of the biggest stages. And that is what is expected of Bolt in London in just a few days. Bolt did not have to race his best to qualify for the Olympic Games. Nor did Blake or Asafa Powell.

Under the watching eye of the world, Bolt will feed of the energy and give another thrilling performance in his races. The true superstars of track do. Michael Johnson did it, Carl Lewis and a long list of others that came before. They know they have to run the race of their lives to defeat the stiff competition, and they feed off of it.

The 6'4" Jamaican thrives in these conditions.

Bolt won the 100 at the Diamond League race in Oslo back in June with his fastest time of the year, 9.79. As it stands, that will likely not be good enough to medal in London.


With a treasure trove of talent in Americans Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and his Jamaican teammates, the finals to the 100 will surely be the event to watch at the Games. All men are capable of winning on their best day, but it is Bolt and Blake who provide the more consistent results.

And the Blake versus Bolt rivalry will continue in the 200.

Blake ran a 19.28 in 2011, the second fastest 200 time in history. And another Jamaican will look to make his name in the event, 21-year-old Jason Young. It is not as star-studded as the 100, but the 200 is just as competitive.

Both races will be electric, and whether Bolt takes gold or not is irrelevant. He will still contend for a medal and have the crowds in awe of both his skill and jovial personality. He is an enigmatic star that fans want to cheer for.

Bolt will shine in London because he is a superstar that performs his best on the biggest stages. He will do it once more in London and go down as one of the greatest track athletes of all time.

And who knows? Maybe lightning strikes twice.