Usain Bolt leaves lasting impression on students

Jacob Dillard

Usain Bolt’s most recent Olympic achievements now include another three gold medals in the 4×100 meter relay, the 200 meter sprint, and the 100 meter dash. For the 100 meter, Bolt was the first man to receive three successive titles in that event. Now 30 years old, Bolt is the most decorated sprinter of all time.

“What else can I do to prove I am the greatest?” Bolt said in an interview with BBC sport. However, Bolt wasn’t born with the ability to run a 100 meter sprint in 9.69 seconds. Bolt had to start from somewhere and work his way up. Bolt won his first high school championship at the tender age of 14, after which he had already begun training to be the very best.

“Fast” is the first word that comes to mind for Junior Grady student Miles Pearlstein. The only way a man like that can get to where he is now is through constant training and giving his full effort to everything he does, according to Pearlstein. Bolt, a promising young athlete, was trying to find the right sports to commit his talents to. Bolt started out as a cricket player, but Pablo McNeil, former Olympic sprinter, noticed his speed and began training him for sprinting in front of crowds of thousands of people.

“[Bolt] inspires me to chase my dreams like being part of the Grady Ultimate frisbee team,” Pearlstein said. Miles Pearlstein first started playing Ultimate Frisbee for Inman in seventh grade.

Pearlstein also runs for the Grady Cross Country team, where Usain Bolt’s inspiration can be used more practically.

Several Grady students can set goals based off of Bolt’s achievements in athletics.

“He [Usain Bolt] makes me want to stand out at what I do,” said Riley O’Donnell, a junior at Grady. It can be hard for a high school student to get motivated to achieve a goal, but watching Usain Bolt do what he does best helps, according to O’Donnell.

While Bolt is an inspiration to the younger crowd, his achievements can label him as a legend of sprinting. Bolt has won the 100 meter and 200 meter and 4x100m  in three consecutive olympics, as well as breaking three world records in Beijing 2008. According to Michael Johnson, a former olympic athlete as well as a BBC sport expert, Usain Bolt is the greatest sprinter of all time.

“Anyone who can just make it to the Olympics to me gets major bragging rights, but to win a gold medal or three in his case, he doesn’t have anything else to prove,” said Ben Hall, a junior at Grady.

Hall is involved with the Cross Country team and is  a former track athlete.

“I think about how hard he has worked to get to where he is, nothing like that comes without huge sacrifice and drive,” Hall said.

Even surrounded by athletes using PEDs, Bolt has never used or been tried for the use of these drugs. He also still beats the athletes that are cheating every single race such as Justin Gatlin and Denis Alekseyev. He is showing the younger generation that winning without cheating is possible through hard work and effort.


Usain Bolt won his 9th Olympic medal when Jamaica won the 4x100m relay.

Photo courtesy of Rio Olympics

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