Usain Bolt: My Story has an easygoing feel to it. Bolt quite literally glides through his life with co-writer Shaun Custis, exploring everything which he has achieved up until 2010.
The book is divided into many different sections (or rather large chapters). Opening with his early days at school, Bolt talks about how school was more of an opportunity for him to play sports than to get anchored down in too much study. It was in primary school when a teacher noticed that he had a unique talent for sprinting. Whilst cricket was also a passion, the talent Bolt had for sprinting was too big to ignore. In high school he was breaking track records.
Many people are familiar with Bolt’s rather laid back attitude towards competing and how he is often having a laugh or cracking jokes. It’s fascinating in the book to see the veneration which Bolt has towards his coach Glen Mills. This is the man who turned Bolt into the world’s fastest man. Mills turned Bolt from a 200m specialist to an expert in both the 100m and 200m disciplines. Bolt admits that his starts are slow but his turn of speed can carry him through in the latter parts. Again it was his coach who has helped him: how to eat right, how to train properly in the gym and on the track, in addition to staying true to his inner self.
One great element of sports biographies is the freedom athletes have to be themselves. Bolt is a colourful character who is full of great touring stories. It was quite funny to hear about how he ate nothing but chicken nuggets whilst setting new world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. There is a chapter devoted to the difficulties which being a professional athlete can have. Public appearances and product endorsements he admits sometimes distract him from his training, as does his laid back personality. Some days he’ll play video games instead of training.
The book is simple; but it is also a fun autobiography. Bolt is just such an enjoyable person to learn about, read about, hear about. Everything is told like it should be. In an easy to read manner. A problem many athletes who have written bios encounter is sharing stale stories or boring details. Bolt and Custis have managed to trim the excess off and keep the quality.
With an engaging heart and soul, Usain Bolt: My Story provides a simple, enjoyable read which all blokes can enjoy.