Usain Bolt – The Rio Possibles

By winning sprint gold medals at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Usain Bolt will also set several Olympic records and bests. The following details which records Bolt may achieve in Rio. These are all contingent, and may change, based upon any loss of relay medals that may occur because of the recent re-test positive for PEDs by his Jamaican relay teammate Nesta Carter from the 2008 Olympics.

If He Wins All Three Sprint Gold Medals in Rio, Usain Bolt Will …

  • Equal the athletics record of 9 Olympic gold medals, held by Paavo Nurmi (FIN, 1920-28), and Carl Lewis (USA, 1984-96). Of note, Ray Ewry won 10 Olympic gold medals, if one includes his 2 titles in 1906. In all sports, four Olympians have won 9 Olympic gold medals, as follows: Larysa Latynina (URS-GYM), Mark Spitz (USA-SWI), and Nurmi and Lewis.
  • Trail only Michael Phelps’ 18 gold medals in swimming (through London 2012) in all Olympic sports, and Ray Ewry’s 10 athletics gold medals, if one includes 1906.
  • Become only the second person to win 3 or more Olympic gold medals in at least 3 Olympic events. The only person who has achieved this to date is Michael Phelps in swimming, with 3 gold medals in 4 events – 100 butterfly, 200 IM, 4×200 freestyle relay, and 4×100 medley relay.
  • Become only the second person to win 3 gold medals at 3 Olympic Games, equaling the mark of Michael Phelps, who achieved this in swimming in 2004, 2008, and 2012.

If He Wins the 100-200 in Rio, Usain Bolt Will …

  • Become only the 3rd person to win 3 Olympic golds in 2 individual events, equalling Michael Phelps (USA/SWI – 100 butterfly and 200 IM, 2004-12), and Ray Ewry (USA/ATH – standing high jump and standing long jump, 1900-08). Ewry won both of those events 4 times, if one includes 1906.

However, …

It should be noted that the actual athletics “Olympic” record, and the record for the sprints, is held by Leonidas of Rhodes, and Bolt would still trail Leonidas, who won 12 titles at the Ancient Olympic Games, winning the stadion (about 195 yards), diaulos (about 380 yards) and hoplite race, or race in armour, at four consecutive Olympic Games from 164-152 BC.

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