We’re used to seeing Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt revelling in the applause and glory after trouncing his rivals in Olympics and World Championships races.
But Usain Bolt: The Fastest Man Alive shows the hard work and sacrifice that have helped make him the world’s best-known athlete. Lying on a track in Jamaica after an exhausting training session, he is half-joking and half-serious when he says: ‘My conscience is telling me, “Stop running, go play football, go play golf”.’
Film-maker Gael Leiblang spent a year with Bolt to capture his highs (including
breaking world records in the 100m and 200m), and low (disqualification
for a false start in the 100m final at the World Championships in South Korea).
But this is more than a film about a fantastic athlete. It goes behind the scenes to show Bolt relaxing at home in Kingston, Jamaica, playing dominoes and football with his friends, and taking a turn as a DJ after an important race meet in Oslo.
Bolt even makes an appeal to Alex Ferguson to consider signing him for Manchester United. He certainly has the pace but, on the evidence here, might need to work on his heading skills.
At the London Olympics, Bolt is aiming to defend his 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles,
an achievement that would make him one of the greatest Olympians of all time. The world will be watching, and so will Leiblang, who is already planning his post-London follow-up film.
If you missed Usain Bolt: The Fastest Man Alive, it is now available on BBC iPlayer.