Mon | Jul 22, 2019

Bolt can't find medals, wants a rotating bed

Published:Sunday | September 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Usain Bolt was in London, England for a book tour last week, and he signed a copy of his book for British journalist, Shaun Custis, who helped him write it. - Contributed
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Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

With talk about juiced-up athletes doing the rounds in early 2008, track and field was praying for a star. The sport got more than it bargained for that summer when sprinter Usain Bolt won three gold medals in remarkable fashion at the Beijing Olympics.

The sprint sensation lets it all hang out in Usain Bolt: My Story 9.58, his newly released autobiography in which he declares his intention to retire from sports in 2016, his desire to build a huge home with a rotating bed and the fact that, while moving to a new home earlier this year, he lost his world championship medals.

The 280-page book which Bolt co-wrote with British sports writer Shaun Custis, was released last week by HarperCollins, and will be distributed locally by Ian Randle Publishers.

Bolt looks back at his remarkable feats at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing, where he won the sprint double in record times. He then teamed up with Asafa Powell, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter to win the 4x100-metre relay in another world-best time. The following year, Bolt won the sprint double at the world championships in Berlin, setting a new world record for the 100 metres in a jaw-dropping 9.58 seconds.

But, according to a press release, My Story is not just about life on the track. It looks at "the highs and lows, the dedication and sacrifice to get to the top. It's about fast food, partying, fast cars, dancehall music and that lightning-bolt pose."

Usain Bolt is regarded as, arguably, the greatest athlete ever. Many believe his superlative achievements in Beijing and Berlin eclipsed American Jesse Owens' amazing four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

Like Owens, Bolt grew up in humble surroundings. He revisits his days as a prodigy at William Knibb High School and growing up in the sleepy district of Sherwood Content, where he dreamt of becoming a professional cricketer or footballer. He talks about dealing with his superstar status, rubbing shoulders with other high-profile sportsmen like former Manchester United (now Real Madrid striker) Cristiano Ronaldo and how he meticulously monitors his new-found wealth, noting that he constantly reviews his bank statements and personally reviews all his contracts.

Bolt also opens up about little-known disappointments, like losing his world championship medals while moving in to a new home. He said the medals somehow got misplaced during the moving process and had not reappeared up to the time of writing. He also talks about his plans to retire after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and his dream to someday own a Lamborghini sports car.

He shares that he currently owns six vehicles, all black, his favourite colour.

Bolt suffered his first defeat in nearly three years to arch-rival Tyson Gay of the United States, last month at the Diamond League meet in Stockholm. He then called an early end to his season, citing injury.

Last week, he began the promotional tour for My Story in Britain. He appeared on the British Broadcasting Corporation and was the subject of a feature piece in the Independent newspaper.