‘The fastest man on earth’, that is the title that 27 year-old Jamaican Usain Bolt aka Lightning Bolt is answering to nowadays. Why, because he actually holds the fastest time in the history of 100m races at 9.58 seconds.
Furthermore, he also holds the 200m record of 19.19 seconds. With such performances, it’s only logical that Bolt is one of the most sought after track athletes in the world and of course with the endorsements comes the money.
As such, he is currently valued at $24.2 million having earned about $300,000 in salaries and winnings and the largest chunk of his wealth (over $20 million) coming from endorsements.
Even as a young boy growing up in rural Jamaica, Usain loved all things sport. He played cricket and football, took part in hurdles races and even did the high jump. In fact, he actually won his first medal while in high-school having come in third in a hurdles event.
All the same, people around him noticed his amazing speed and advised him to concentrate on track events. He took their advice, and it was probably the best decision he ever made considering that it has changed his fortunes.
Consequently, he put all his energy into the 100m, 200m and 4x100m races and it paid off: during the 2002 World Junior Championships, he bagged 1 gold medal and 2 silver medals. The lightning had struck.
An illustrious career
After his win in Kingston in 2002, Usain was a man with a mission: he was going to be a legend. And that is exactly what he has become, since his career kicked off Bolt has won a total of 33 gold medals in various major competitions 6 of which are from the Olympics.
Furthermore, coming in 2nd is clearly not his thing and he has won only 7 silver medals during the same period. Even more impressive is the fact that he hasn’t won any bronze medals in major competitions, the man settles for nothing but the best.
It’s also notable that Usain Bolt is not just a talented athlete; he has also dedicated himself to self-improvement. This is clearly shown by the fact that the few silver medals he has won were actually from his earliest international competitions.
So, having earned bragging rights, Bolt now calls himself “the greatest athlete to live” and places himself with the likes of Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.
Puma And Digicel
When Bolt first competed in the Olympics in Beijing, he was a little known athlete to whom no one wanted to append their name. However, two companies: Puma and Digicel believed in him.
They sponsored him and he did not disappoint them, he won 3 gold medals. In fact, both companies continue to sponsor him with the Puma deal being one of his most publicized endorsements probably due to the fact that they are paying him about $9 million annually.
Having proven his worth on the track, Bolt has been able to sign various highly lucrative endorsement deals. Consequently, his face is now synonymous with such major brands as Hubolt, Virgin Media, Regupol, Nissan and Celcom. It’s therefore not a wonder then that about $20 million of his earnings come from endorsements.
Jamaica’s woes with the World Anti-Doping Agency are threatening to rock Usain’s boat. The country has come under scrutiny after a number of its athletes failed their drug tests.
As such, Usain Bolt has felt the pinch of this debacle as a would-be sponsor got cold feet and pulled out of a deal after it was insinuated that Bolt might not participate in the 2016 Olympics if his country gets penalized for the doping issue.
Fortunately, Jamaica is now working with the US to clear their issues and it seems that all is well for Mr Lightning.
Lessons From The Life Of Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is clearly an inspiration to many, having risen from humble beginnings to become one of the wealthiest athletes in the world. Consequently, we can learn the following life lessons from him: