By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Every success has a small start and for the world’s fastest man, it all started in Trelawny on the north coast of Jamaica. It’s there, we learn that Bolt earned his first bronze medal at William Knibb Memorial High. A man whose signature lightning pose has become a symbol of inspiration for generations, Bolt, who has been hailed a "Jamaican hero" has nine Olympic Games gold medals to date and remains the world's dominant sprinter.
Through a mixture of interviews, camera footage and archival footage, a fully-rounded Bolt emerges in this engaging documentary titled "I am Bolt." Raw and revealing, it takes you from Bolt’s early days in Jamaica through his entry into the world of track, to his rollercoaster ride in worldwide fame as he trains, travels, races and relaxes. We learn of the sacrifices he made, the injuries he suffered and the grueling training schedule he endured to achieve his dream.
Directed by Benjamin Turner, it is the story of an international athletic icon and shows audiences that there is more behind Bolt's reputation as a showman with footage of his life on and off track. He is playful at times as he hangs with friends and family. In other scenes, he ponders and reflects a lot. With such a recognizable face, it’s difficult for him to leave his hotel room when traveling for track events so his phone is a constant source of distraction.
We learn about his childhood through interviews with his best friends, meet Wellesley and Jennifer, his parents, hear stories from his agent and fellow athletes and get a glimpse of his school and the town where he won his first medal. We meet his coach, Glen Mills, a tough disciplinarian who always finds a way to get Bolt back on track despite repetitive hamstring injuries which have plagued his track career. We learn what drives Bolt including his rivalry with American sprinter Justin Gatlin. Bolt's blunt with his words and will admit that he’s a sore loser and is extremely competitive. Traits, which earned him the world's fastest man title.
"God put me on this earth to run and that's what I am going to do. I am too competitive. I don’t want to lose at any point in my life,” Bolt can be heard saying in one scene.
Featuring interviews with Serena Williams, Pele, Ziggy Marley, Yohan Blake, Donovan Bailey and Chronixx, you don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy this one -- you just need an appreciation for the power of resilience.
Filmed on location at the Beijing World Championships, Rio Olympics, London Olympics and in Germany and Jamaica, “I am Bolt” is out in theaters November 28th and available on Digital HD and On Demand on November 29, and on DVD on December 6.
Usain Bolt: "God Put Me On This Earth To Run"
By Samantha Ofole-Prince