I am Bolt is an inspiring story of how a champion became a legend. It is a story of how Usain Bolt has overcome fierce competition, injury scares and overwhelming pressure to ascertain his position at the top.
The documentary gives viewers a wider perspective of understanding The Legend on and away from the track. We get to know his thoughts as he lines up to race and as he runs. He analyzes the race per meter accessing his competition and addressing his fears as he overcomes the pressure of finishing first.
The most notable competition that Usain Bolt has faced in his athletics career has to be from USA’s former Olympic and World Champion, Justin Gatlin who has been described as the villain of Sprints following 2 separate doping allegations that got him banned from global competitions.
Following his coming back from suspension, Gatlin was literally in the form of his life, running his best times ever in 2015, at a time when Bolt performances were being plagued by injury scares. In the lead up to the 2015 Beijing World Championships, Bolt was clearly worried about Gatlin’s top form. Sports commentators around the world said Bolt was the underdog going into the Championships. Even though he wasn’t in the form he had been in the previous Championships he still emerged supreme in both the 100m and 200m sprints.
Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell, though teammates are also some of the toughest sprinters with really fast sprint times whom Bolt has had to contend with. Blake beat Bolt during the Jamaican Olympic trials in 2012. In the film, Bolt admits that it really ruffled his otherwise swaggy feathers and so to retain his Olympic titles in London he trained harder than before.
“Everybody loves Usain, he goes beyond boundaries, politics, religion,” Ricky Simms, Bolt’s manager
Other global sports phenomenon such as Michael Johnson and Serena Williams feature in the documentary praising Bolt on his accomplishment for Athletics.
However the documentary does miss an opportunity to address some issues. The story line about the challenges he faces getting to be the fastest man in the world has been down played maybe in an effort to focus more on the greatness. Unfortunately that does not work in the favour of the documentary especially for avid athletics fans that have followed Usain Bolt’s career. There are races he has lost in his career especially before he got his groove on the track. Those races are important in the making of a legend rather than painting it as a journey that has been a bed of roses.
The film should have also dealt with the issue of doping in athletics. When Bolt started breaking records left right and centre critics accused him of doping. However he has proven to be a clean athlete working hard for his accomplishments which is milestone in Athletics.
At the end Bolt confesses he found a drive and he was relentless to become the greatest. It took a lot of hard work and focus and what people thing is an easy feat isn’t.
In preparation for the Rio Olympics what kept him going was the thought that what he had over the years didn’t matter if he could not win this year. And now that he done it, he was relieved that it was finally over and that he had done what he had set out to do in the sport.
The documentary is truly inspiring; Usain Bolt is in himself a work of art. His accomplishments on the track no one else has done it before and that in itself makes him a legend of all ages.
Watch the trailer here: