By Tim Gibson
In the pantheon of Olympic sprinting greats, one man stands head and shoulders above the rest. But not just because he’s a got a record-breaking triple treble of Olympic Gold medals to his name. It’s his trademark warmth, humour and compassion that made the world fall in love with Usain Bolt.
Safe to say there are many reasons to love the man – and on 28 November, Bolt fans are being treated to an all-access documentary at Vue that offers an intimate portrait of the much-loved competitor. “I know a lot of people around the world feel like they know me already, but I’m excited for everyone to see the real me in I Am Bolt,” says the sprinter.
Bolt himself filmed a lot of the footage, which means viewers will get to be alongside him, gasping for breath as he pushes his body to its very limits, watching the sweat drip from his exhausted limbs as he collapses after training and soaking up the atmosphere of race day as he gets ready to compete.
It’s hard to reconcile his easygoing nature with his almost superhuman sporting achievements. He’s won nine olympic gold medals, but calls himself “lazy” in interviews – but it’s his unconventional personality that makes him so likeable. “I’ve never met a sportsman quite like Bolt,” writes Simon Hattenstone in The Guardian. “While so many are a frustrating mix of the buttoned-up, conservative and grand, he is opinionated, funny and grounded.”
And while the prospect of watching Bolt have a laugh with his mates and get up to mischief off-duty is appealing, it’s the promise of seeing the gruelling, supercharged training footage played out on the big screen that gives this documentary a raw edge. Featuring thrilling footage from the Beijing World Championships, Rio Olympics, and London Olympics, along with scenes shot on location in Jamaica and Germany, I Am Bolt promises a big screen sports experience like no other. Bolt himself filmed a lot of the footage that features in the documentary, which means viewers will get to be alongside him, gasping for breath as he pushes his body to its very limits, watching the sweat drip from his exhausted limbs as he collapses after training and soaking up the atmosphere of race day as he gets ready to compete.
As one of his friends says in an interview during the documentary: “A man like [Usain] is not born very often.” I Am Bolt is a rare window into what makes this athlete so extraordinary, both on and off the track. This is his moment. Be sure not to miss it.