Usain Bolt’s mum reveals: the only time he’s ever been slow


Usain Bolt got serious about sprinting when his PE teacher told him he had "a gold mine in his legs". Or his shoes. Picture Reuters
Usain Bolt got serious about sprinting when his PE teacher told him he had "a gold mine in his legs". Or his shoes. Picture Reuters
Olympics Day 10: Fastest man on Earth has been making up for lost time since he arrived on the planet; Four seasons in one day; Athletes’ fun and Games

Usain Bolt’s mum reckons he’s only been slow once in his life – he arrived 10 days after his due date.

The fastest man on Earth has come a long way from the playful child who learned to run in Trelawney, Jamaica, and would cry when he lost a race.

“He doesn’t like to lose,” dad Wellesley told BBC Sport.

“At school it was at about five that we noticed that he was competing against his classmates and he was always winning,” mum Jennifer recalled.

Growing up alongside brother Sadiki and sister Sherine, Wellesley says his son was very jovial and despite a few problems he did “nothing out of the ordinary for a child”.

At high school, Bolt was more interested in playing cricket than hitting the athletics track, saying he was so in love with the sport “he didn’t want to do anything else”.

The teenager eventually heeded PE teacher Lorna Thorpe, who told him to focus on athletics if he wanted to reach the top as he had “a gold mine in his legs”.

The Bolt family has been based in Trelawney, where Wellesley still works in the local shop, for more than half a century and the parish’s most famous son is always welcomed on his return.

Jennifer hopes he chooses to spend plenty of time with the family once he hangs up his spikes. She thinks a sporting ambassador’s role is in the offing, as world athletics chief Lord Sebastian Coe suggested today.

Mum and dad are confident they will be able to add the grandparent tag before long, but Bolt is keeping quiet on the identity of the woman he has been dating for the past two years.

Four seasons in one day

You name it, the weather gods delivered it today. Athletics was postponed, restarted, re-run, leaving the few who turned up at the Olympic Stadium with nothing to watch but water falling from the night sky. Sailing was called off after (a) no wind in the morning (b) too much wind in the afternoon.

Seven people – including an 11-year-old girl – were injured, none seriously, when an overhead TV camera crashed 20m to the ground in the Olympic Park. Witnesses blamed a strong gust of wind that might have dislodged the 60kg camera.

A major bushfire broke out near the Deodoro Sports Complex. Several fire engines raced to prevent the flames from spreading to the Games facilities as hockey teams warmed up (sorry) for knockout matches.

‘Little shirts of Venus’

Eric – just Eric – has become an Olympic champion in a sport that’s best described as fun and Games.

He’s the guy whose job is to walk around the venues with a big sack of condoms.

About 450,000 condoms will be distributed during the Rio Olympics, three times more than the London Games. This equates to 42 condoms per athlete.

Some 100,000 female condoms will be available for the first time, and 175,000 packets of lubricant. Known as “Little Shirts of Venus” in Brazil, the condoms encourage safe sex – particularly with the Zika virus in town.

More fun and Games

A Brazilian athlete ordered her synchronised diving partner from their room for a “marathon night of sex” with a canoeist.

Ingrid Oliveira, 20, is claimed to have slept with team-mate Pedro Goncalves the night before she was due to dive at the Games. The fling left her diving partner Giovanna Pedroso, 17, furious. The duo has now split.

RIP coach

Stefan Henze, coach of Germany’s canoe slalom team, died today from head injuries sustained in a Rio car crash last week. He and team-mate Christian Kaeding were travelling in a taxi to the Athletes Village when the car crashed into a concrete barrier. Kaeding suffered minor injuries. Henze, 35, was a 2004 silver medallist in the sport.


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