Retired Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt confirmed in a video posted to his Twitter account from his home in Jamaica that he has COVID-19 and is in self-isolation but is not showing any symptoms.
Jamaica has had a confirmed total of 1,413 cases of the coronavirus and 16 deaths on the island of around three million.
The world record-holder in the men’s 100 and 200 metres attended a surprise party recently to celebrate his 34th birthday.
Bolt left track in August 2017 and made the move to soccer player training with several European clubs, but that career change was short-lived as Bolt failed to reach a deal with the Central Coast Mariners in Australia.
Usain Bolt’s bday party. No social distance, NO masks! 😳😠 <a href=”https://t.co/ogqUvk1i9r”>pic.twitter.com/ogqUvk1i9r</a>
He left track after nine seasons with 19 major championships to his name and an undefeated run at the Olympics in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay.
In 2002, a 15-year-old Bolt won gold in the 200 and silver in the 4×100 and 4×400 at the junior championships in Kingston, Jamaica, and two years later became the first junior to run under 20 seconds in the 200, clocking 19.93.
Shattered world marks in Beijing
Bolt captured his first Olympic medal in Beijing on Aug. 17, 2008, covering the 100 in a stunning 9.69 seconds to become the first sprinter to set the world record at the Olympics since Bailey ran 9.84 in Atlanta. Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago crossed the line second, more than a body length behind Bolt.
Stay Safe my ppl 🙏🏿 <a href=”https://t.co/ebwJFF5Ka9″>pic.twitter.com/ebwJFF5Ka9</a>
Three days later, on a hot, humid night with 91,000 people crammed inside Bird’s Nest Stadium, Bolt ran 19.30 in the 200 final to shove Michael Johnson’s seemingly unbreakable world record of 19.32 to the side and become the first man since Carl Lewis 24 years earlier to complete the men’s sprint Olympic double. He was also the first since Jamaica’s Don Quarrie in the 1970s to hold the world 100 and 200 marks simultaneously.
Bolt later teamed with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Powell in Beijing to win the 4×100 relay in a world-record 37.10 that was wiped from the record book in January 2017 after a re-analysis of Carter’s drug test turned up a banned stimulant.
Bolt went on to transcend his sport, winning an unprecedented treble of consecutive Olympic gold in the 100, 200 and 4×100 in 2012 in London, England and again in 2016 in Rio.
Six times Bolt was named International Association of Athletics Federations male athlete of the year and he is also a three-time recipient of the Laureus World Sports Award for sportsman of the year.
Along the way, he was a real showman that danced, smiled, flashed a peace sign, blew kisses to the crowd and mugged for the cameras, making many forget about a sport that has been ravaged over the years by doping violations.