Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Glenford Smith | Usain Bolt: Hard work leads to success

Published:Monday | January 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this 2009 photo, Usain Bolt runs during a training session in in Lausanne, Switzerland. Bolt says his success has come from very hard work.

It was all smiles at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston as triple Olympic gold medallist, the unrivalled king of the track, Usain Bolt, copped the 2016 RJR Foundation Sportsman of the Year award.

Bolt has now won the award six times and was competing for it the seventh time. The three-time Olympic and World Champion is reaching the twilight of his running career.

In the 2016 Olympic men's 100m final, he raced across the finish line in 9.8 seconds, followed that with 19.79 seconds in the Olympic men's 200m final, and anchored the 4x100m relay to gold in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. All that is left for Bolt is to complete another triple in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay at this year's World Championship.

The elegantly dressed Bolt said he hopes to do something for his sport after he finished competing. "I definitely want to be a part of my sport when I retire. I don't want to just walk away. I want to help it as much as possible, like when I was running."




Bolt wasn't at all silent when it comes to what it takes for him to be great. Every opportunity he gets he makes it plain that yes, he has the talent, but it takes hard work.

For him, it is key that people know the degree that sacrifice, resilience, mental strength, absolute confidence, hard work and desire are the key to his success as an athlete. He doesn't want anyone to think it is easy.

He has even made a movie, which he hopes adequately documents these lessons, called I Am Bolt.

Stressing hard work, he said: "For me, it was a very hard season. I really trained really hard. I know my coach is watching and saying 'lies, Usain, lies!" He smiled. "I worked really hard to get to my goal."

For many people, they believe that they can learn nothing from Usain Bolt's greatness; that he is otherworldly. This is absolutely false.

The aforementioned qualities can be intelligently leveraged to your advantage. When it comes time to get to work, Bolt gets to work, although he slacks off otherwise. He has absolutely, total confidence in his coach. You can start applying these qualities and see how they transform you.




Bolt sees the qualities as transferable. He says, "I want to leave with one thing, it is a message for the youth. I am from Trelawny and I've never thought I'd be, at this stage of my life, one of the greatest athletes ever. In that, I want to say that hard work pays off.

"So if you want to be great, just work towards what you want, not only to be a track star, but if you want to be a doctor or lawyer, never give up. I have been through a lot in my career, but I have never given up once. I have always pushed on, and look where I am! So just use me as motivation or as an example just to work to be the best you can be."

- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of From Problems to Power and co-author of Profile of Excellence.