Usain Bolt is that rarity in the modern world - a man whose fame transcends his nationality, his race and even his sport. From Los Angeles to Beijing, from Kingston to Berlin, the name 'Bolt' resonates immediately even with those with only a passing interest in any form of sport.
Quite simply, Bolt is the world's fastest man. And the gangling Jamaican is the fastest man the world has ever seen by a considerable margin.
The sprinter established himself in the world's psyche by winning three Olympic gold medals, the 100, 200 metres and sprint relay, all in world record times, at the 2008 Beijing Games, a unique achievement.
Bolt stamped his personality on sporting history again a year later at the World Championships in Berlin when he won both individual sprints, again with never-before-seen performances, making him the first man to hold the Olympic and world titles for the 100 and 200 metres at the same.
Can anyone ever beat Bolt? Can Bolt run even faster?
Bolt now has his eyes on making another piece of sporting history by becoming the first man to win back-to-back Olympic 100 metres races when he lines up for the London Games in 2012.
But the 6ft 5in tall Bolt is by no means an overnight sensation. His almost freak-like talents have been carefully honed and nurtured over almost a decade, ever since he took the 200 metres gold medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships, which made him the competition's youngest-ever gold medallist at 16.
In this book, award-winning athletics writer Steven Downes, who has followed the Jamaican since his global debut, charts Bolt's career so far and looks forward to the London Olympics.
Wonderful sense of pace ...
Downes revels in the type of informative, but chatty, anecdote that adds a wonderful sense of pace to his book's narrative. One senses he delights in telling his readers that the Crete race took place at Rethymno or that Bolt initially suffered from a curvature of the spine which made his right leg half an inch shorter than his left. The book is peppered with such memorable detail. For full review see http://www.4sportsbooks.co.uk/?page=showreviews&book_id=427
a fascinating, informative book
Downes ... dissects Bolt's he's - only human-after-all moment and the repercussions. He puts Bolt's life (not just his athletics career) in perfect context and produces a fascinating, informative book that I read at one sitting.
a fascinating life story
...a fascinating life story that explains how Bolt's destiny was changed when his time for the 100m at a minor meeting in Crete in 2007 convinced him that the financial rewards being accrued by his compatriot, the then 100m world champion Asafa Powell, could be at his command, too.
...a light entertaining read and written with flair and accuracy. It is also a track fan's delight as it contains a chunky sections of stats...
Downes traces the rise and rise of the world's most famous athlete, his well researched account laced with keen insight and many quotes, and 'tracknuts' will particularly appreciate Mirko Javala's compilation of all of Bolt's 162 individual races, from a 22.04 200m on 7 Apr 2001 to a 9.76 100m on 16 Sep 2011'