On the evening of Sunday, August 14, 2016, famed Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won gold in a characteristically dynamic and seemingly effortless 100-meter performance at his third consecutive Olympics, this time in Rio de Janeiro, making him the first athlete to win three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter dash.
Bolt’s rocketry on this celebrated night follows equally impressive performances in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. There is little doubt as to why Bolt is easily regarded as the world’s fastest man.
However, perhaps not as readily in the spotlight is notice of Bolt’s deep Catholic faith. In August of 2012, in the days following Bolt’s participation in the London Olympics, the Catholic News Agency reported that the “Vatican invites Usain Bolt to address religious liberty conference.” The article mentions that “As a Catholic, Bolt is known for making the Sign of the Cross before racing competitively. He also bears the middle name [St.] Leo.”
In addition to his other inspirational outward signs of faith, more encouraging than Bolt’s hard-earned gold medals is that he wears an even more powerful medal: the Miraculous Medal, as promulgated by French Saint Catherine Labouré (1806-1876). By extension, asone awesome Redditor pointed out, based on Bolt’s wearing of the Miraculous Medal, the Blessed Virgin Mary is currently the most viewed woman in sprinting! This digression aside, the Miraculous Medal features an inscription invoking the prayerful intercession of the Lord’s Mother with these French words: “O, Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous qui avons recours à vous” (“O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”).
More about his faith:
Usain St. Leo Bolt was born and raised in Sherwood Content, Trelawny, Jamaica.
Bolt is a Catholic and his middle name was given to him in honor of one of the Catholic Church’s earliest Popes. Bolt is devout in his faith. He makes the sign of the cross before beginning a competition and, according to his public relations people, he is a “Bible-believing, God-honoring, Jesus-worshiping Christian.”
It’s not something he talks much about. Though he does occasionally tweet things like:
With God anything is possible… I demolish training today #thankuGod
This guy’s got it. God love him.
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