Usain Bolt wins lifetime achievement award
Usain Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medalist from Jamaica, will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Bolt, 36, retired in August 2017 with a total of 19 world championships to his name.
He won the 100- and 200-meter events in the Beijing (2008), London (2012), and Rio (2016) Olympic Games.
“I’m living proof that if you work hard, you can get anything you want,” Bolt told BBC Sport.
“One thing my dad taught me was if you want something, work hard for it. He showed me by working hard to provide for me, my mum and my sister, so when he told me, I believed it.
“Just be focused and work towards it.”
It was during the 2009 World Championships in Berlin when Bolt set the all-time record for the 100-meter dash with a timing of 9.58 seconds. He is the first athlete in history to win the 100- and 200-meter events at three consecutive Olympics.
In addition to setting the world mark in the 100 and 200 meters in Berlin, four days apart, he won the first of 11 gold medals at four different World Championships.
His 200-meter record of 19.19 seconds still stands.
Silver in the 200-meter and four-hundred-meter relay at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka gave Bolt his first taste of international success and, as he puts it, “opened his eyes” to the dedication and perseverance that would be necessary to achieve his goals.
Four years later, a missed start in the 100-meter event in Daegu served as a further reminder to be committed to his objectives.
“Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I could have gone to Daegu and won and then false-started at the Olympics.
“It reminded me to stick to what I knew. It kept me focused and kept me going.”
The Jamaican won a record-breaking ‘triple triple’ of Olympic gold medals in Rio, but he had to give up the 4x100m championship he had won in 2008 as teammate Nesta Carter tested positive for a prohibited drug.
Bolt decided to call it quits after the 2017 World Championships in London, when he won bronze in the men’s 100-meter dash.
Reflecting on his athletics career, Bolt said: “I feel accomplished. I accomplished all I wanted to in my sport.
“It is a great feeling to know that with the determination and sacrifice that I put in I could accomplish what I wanted to. I try to motivate people by telling them to believe in themselves.”
As a reminder, Billie Jean King, Pele, Bobby Charlton, Tanni Grey-Thompson, David Beckham, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Chris Hoy, and most recently Simone Biles have all won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement award.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year takes place on Wednesday, 21 December at MediaCityUK in Salford.