- As Usain Bolt’s Olympic career comes to an end, how do his finals races stack up against each other?
The Olympic career of a legend will come to a close at the 2016 Rio Games. And before the Olympic flame is extinguished, Usain Bolt could make even more history: The Jamaican could become the only man to win gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay in three straight Olympics.
Bolt first made his name known in the track and field world when he won the silver medal at the 2007 world junior championship. But he catapulted to fame a year later; at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, he became the star of the Olympics with dominant victories in the 100, 200 and 4x100 meter relay.
So far at the Rio Olympics, he defended his gold medal in the 100 meters, and is a favorite to win the 200 meters.
But which of Bolt's medal-round Olympic races is the most impressive? We ranked them all below.
7. 4x100, London 2012
Bolt won his third gold medal—and sixth Olympic gold—in London, anchoring Jamaica’s 4x100 relay. He pulled away from the United States' Ryan Bailey on the final leg.
6. 4x100 relay, Beijing 2008
Usain Bolt capped off his perfect Olympics in Beijing by winning the 4x100 relay and going three-for-three in world record attempts. The 37.10-second run—by Asafa Powell, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Bolt—broke the previous world record of 37.40 set by the United States in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Carter reportedly tested positive for a banned substance in the re-testing of doping samples, which could result in the Jamaicans surrendering their gold medal. Bolt said he would have no problem doing so.
5. 100 meters, Rio 2016
As the sport of track and field finds itself embroiled in doping scandals and corruption, Bolt remains the shining light of the sport. In his final Olympics, he took an easy 9.81-second victory, the slowest of his Olympic final wins, to become the first man to win three consecutive 100-meter titles.
4. 200 meter, London 2008
The 200-meter final gave us another match-up between Bolt and Blake. The 200 happens to be Bolt's favorite distance to race, and he did not disappoint, becoming the first man to defend his 100 and 200 meter titles at back-to-back Olympics.
3. 100 meters, London 2012
Usain Bolt entered the Olympics not only looking to defend his gold medal, but also trying to make up for a disappointing false start at the 2011 world championships that cost him a gold medal. In the 100, Bolt was pitted against Yohan “The Beast” Blake, his Jamaican compatriot that took gold at the 2011 worlds and also beat Bolt in the 100 and 200 at the national championships. Bolt, of course, prevailed in London.
2. 200 meters, Beijing 2008
Bolt broke Michael Johnson’s world record from the 1996 Olympics, running the 200m in 19.30 seconds. Bolt later beat his own record at the 2009 world championships, running a 19.19.
1. 100 meters, Beijing 2008
This was the moment when Usain Bolt introduced himself to the world. The quirky, tall and muscular Jamaican sensation won his first Olympic gold medal in the 100 in world-record fashion, utterly dominating the field. He crossed the finish line in 9.69, leaving spectators wondering how fast could he have run had he not celebrated early. The world got its answer the next year at the world championships in Berlin, where he ran the 100 in 9.58 seconds.