LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR (France)
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won gold in the Men's 100 meter final in the London 2012 Olympics on Sunday, becoming only the second sprinter to win two consecutive 100m Olympic races.
Bolt shot to fame during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and his 9''63 performance last night - the second fastest time ever - confirmed his star status. The Nouvel Observateur has collected some little-known facts about the fastest man in the world:
1. His right leg is shorter than his left by approximately 1.5 centimeters, a result of his atypical running style. Bolt runs with his bust outright and his head straight, which has unbalanced his pelvis.
2. Instead of leading an extravagant party life, he likes to hang out with friends at his house in Kingston, Jamaica, and play dominos late into the night. He is also a fan of video games and sometimes plays the Fifa soccer game with fellow Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake before competitions.
3. He works harder than you think: Bolt takes it easy at home, but he goes all out during training. In a France 2 documentary, his father says he once says he saw Bolt throw up during training.
4. He wanted to be a professional cricket player. Cricket is a very popular sport in Jamaica, where Bolt and his friends imitated their favorite Indian and Pakistani players when they were young. Bolt was a fan of Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar.
5. Bolt was mischievous and restless as a child, and his father sometimes beat him. Bolt's exasperated parents took him to a doctor, who diagnosed him with hyperactivity.
6. In an interview with l'Equipe Mag, Bolt tells how he witnessed the accident that killed his grand-father when he was nine years old. "My grand-father died in front of my eyes. We had an outside kitchen and the ground was humid. He slipped. His skull hit the door," he said. "It was strange, I didn't feel any panic or anything like it. I don't think I realized what happened. I only understood the event a few days later, during the funeral."
7. He started early: he took part in the junior world championships when he was 15, winning the 200 meter race. A year later, during the panamerican championships, he broke the junior world record for 200m with 20''13. The "Bolt" was born.
8. He once failed miserably at the Olympics: before London and Beijing, his 2004 Athens Olympics ended very badly. Injured, under pressure and only 17-years-old, he was eliminated in the first round of the 200m race.
9. After the Athens Olympics and another failed race during the world championships two years later, Bolt came under a lot of fire in Jamaica. The man who is now the country's greatest athletic star was then heavily criticized for his alleged lack of training and too much partying.
10. He sees "Healing Hans," a 70-year-old German doctor who treats elite athletes at his clinic in Munich using unconventional and controversial techniques, including injections of Actovegin, a product derived from calf's blood. The Jamaican sprinter was introduced to Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt by Glenn Mills, Bolt's coach.