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Usain Bolt joins the immortals just as the cracks begin to appear

Athletics - Men's 4 x 100m Relay Final

Thesauruses exhausted, all superlatives spent, the world’s press turned to the man himself to ask for help. “Usain,” the question came, “at London 2012, you spoke a lot about how you wanted to become a legend. But what should we call you now?” Bolt paused, thought on it for a while. “Well,” he said, “someone said at a press conference last year that if I win these three gold medals, I will be immortal. And I kind of liked it. So I’m going to run with that: immortal.”

Usain Bolt's dominant victory in Rio 200m final makes it eight Olympic gold

Athletics - Men's 200m Final

Moments after Usain Bolt had clinched his eighth Olympic title with much the same ease as his other seven, he smiled serenely into the cameras and hollered: “Number one!” Once again, he had proven that he was the greatest sprinter in history. But, perhaps for the first time, there was something else: a sense that as he approaches his 30th birthday on Sunday, he is not quite able to hit the very highest notes as he once did.

Usain Bolt cruises into 200m semi-finals with comfortable victory in heats

Athletics - Men's 200m Round 1

These Olympics will be remembered for any amount of athletic excellence but there are days when the acreage of empty seats in Rio’s showpiece stadium feels doubly depressing. If there is one man who should be guaranteed to attract a crowd it is Usain Bolt, the fastest and most marketable athlete on the planet. For him to run in front of a sea of vacant blue plastic really does damage the Games’ image.

Usain Bolt circus rumbles into Rio but sprinter shows his serious side too

Usain Bolt uses an Apple iPhone while giving a press conference

To the Cicada des Arts, a sprawling cultural complex in Barra, to join the sweaty throng for Usain Bolt’s pre-Olympic press conference. Or, more accurately, 20 minutes of softballing questions from the hundreds of the world’s media, in which the Jamaican sprinter was told “Your way of dealing with the pressure makes Brazilian people want to marry you a little more,” and rapped to by a Norwegian journalist, who also told Bolt he was in love with him.

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