Usain Bolt crossed the finish line one last time at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. He anchored the 4x100-meter Jamaican relay team to gold in 37.27 seconds, he became the first man to win three consecutive medals in the 100, 200 and 4x100-meter relay.
Japan finished in 37.60 for silver and Canada earned bronze with a time of 37.64. The United States had a finishing time of 37.62, but was disqualified for an early pass of the baton on the exchange from Mike Rodgers to Justin Gatlin.
"I didn't see anything,” Gatlin said. “It didn't feel like it was premature. It didn't feel like Mike ran up on me. Looking at the video, it looked like it was a smooth handoff going into the exchange zone. Other than that, I don't know."
Most importantly for Bolt, he achieved the “immortal” feat that that he sought out before Rio de Janeiro.
“For me, I’m unbeatable.” he said. “People always ask me ’Am I unbeatable?’ Personally, when it comes to a championship, I think I am. For me, I got that phrase from an interview one time and it feels so good to use because I’ve done so much at the Olympics over the years."
With the third gold medal, Bolt ties the track and field record of 9 Olympic gold medals which is held by Finland’s Paavo Nurmi and Carl Lewis of the United States.
Bolt and his compatriots laughed when asked about the history of American woes of getting the baton around the track.
“Pressure,” Asafa Powell said. “I think they’re more focused on beating us than running a proper race so yes, there’s pressure in trying to beat the Jamaicans."
The Jamaicans have now won three straight Olympic gold medals in the 4x100-meter relay. There is a bit of controversy behind the medal count as Nesta Carter, who was part of the Jamaican relay team in 2008 and 2012, reportedly tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexanamine in a retest of 454 samples from the 2008 Olympics. Carter’s B sample also reportedly tested positive. If the IOC elects to strip the Jamaican team of the medal from the Beijing Olympics, Bolt would lose one medal, which would bring his total to eight.
Bolt and Michael Phelps rose to prominence at the 2008 Olympics, where the American swimming star won eight medals. They now share a bond as Bolt is now just the second person to win three (or more) Olympic gold medals in at least 3 Olympic events. Phelps has three gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, 4x200 freestyle relay, and 4x100 medley relay before adding another gold in all the aforementioned events except the 100-meter butterfly in Rio.
Unlike Phelps’s retirement in 2012 and decision to come back for 2016, Bolt has repeatedly said that Rio de Janeiro will be his last Olympics as he turns 30 years old on Sunday. He plans to run the 100-meters at next year’s world championships in London.
When asked, what’s next? Bolt smiled laughed and as fast as he is on the track replied, “Vacation.