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The fastest man in the world

When Usain Bolt became the first man to win back-to-back 100- and 200-meter Olympic relays

On Aug. 9, 2012, the living legend, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt reached astronomical levels at the 2012 Beijing Olympics.

It wasn’t enough for Bolt to become the first man in Olympics history to take first place in both the 100- and 200-meter relays during the 2008 Games. He worked those two races over like a 9-to-5, and did so in world record times to put the icing on the cake.

But it was at the London Games where Bolt put all the cherries on top. He did another one, becoming the first man to repeat as the 100- and 200-meter champion in back-to-back Olympics. And if you like extra toppings on your desserts, he is also the first man to set three world records in a single Olympics.

We could argue about whether the man is the fastest in the world or not, but Bolt seems pretty confident in where he falls in the grand scheme of things.

“It’s what I came here to do,” Bolt told The Guardian. “I’m now a legend. I’m also the greatest athlete to live. I’ve got nothing left to prove.”

The pudding speaks for itself, and Bolt gives it out in doses. Bolt beat Yohan Blake with a 9.63 time in London. That bested Bolt’s 2008 time of 9.69 seconds in Beijing and earned him his fourth gold medal.

What made the first 100-meter race memorable was that Bolt was unassisted by a backwind and began to celebrate his victory before he actually finished the race. He even ran the race with his shoelaces untied.

The Jamaican Olympic Committee released its delegation for the Rio Games in July, and Bolt was among the selections even though an injury kept him from formally qualifying at his country’s national championships.

Bolt withdrew from Jamaica’s national meet on July 1 with a slight tear in his left hamstring, doing so just before the 100-meter final. This will be his final Olympics.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.