We don’t need to tell you who Usain Bolt is—you love him, we love him, your grandmother loves him—but just in case, we’ll say it again: He is unquestionably one of the greatest athletes of all time, on or off the track. He has, by last count, nine Olympic gold medals, 11 world titles, and eight world records. He is an inspiration—not just to his home nation of Jamaica, where sprinting is an art form and foundation of national pride, but also to the world. And the camera loves him.
That electrifying presence comes through in his new documentary, I Am Bolt, premiering in theaters and on digital HD on November 28. Thanks to virtually unlimited access with their subject, directors Gabe and Ben Turner peel back Bolt’s many layers to document the rigors of Bolt’s training—and just how much fun he seems to have—en route to his history-making runs.
— iambolt (@iamboltfilm) November 25, 2016
And as sports stars go, Bolt is refreshingly un-self-conscious. He’s 30, he’s arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time, he is a legitimate national hero in his home island, and he seems mostly… pretty chill about the whole thing.
To wit: He showed up to the movie’s London premiere Monday night accompanied by a bevy of minimally clothed Carnival-style dancers.
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) November 28, 2016
But as the trailer suggests, Bolt’s path is no cakewalk: the Turners’ cameras offer a look at the burden on Bolt’s sinewy shoulders. There are plenty of grueling, sweaty training montages—Bolt pulling weighted sleds, Bolt grinding through lifts, Bolt literally collapsing after track workouts. “I really enjoy training,” he says, over a supercut of himself in pain. “Wait—let me take that back.”
Even more moving is the psychological toll of his training: “Every year I worry: ‘Am I still fast?'” he says in the trailer. “This year, I had my doubts. ‘I’m not motivated.’ But then it changesd: ‘He’s gonna beat me? Hell no.'”
Multiply that pressure by a triple-triple—three track golds in three Olympics, a feat never before accomplished until he did it at the Rio Olympics—and Bolt was keenly aware of the stakes.
“Oh my God, you have no idea the pressure that I was under,” Bolt told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. “But I live for these moments. I love the pressure. And I have all the confidence in myself and my coach and the team I have that it would come true for me. The pressure was there, but the confidence was always there—which made it much easier.”
I Am Bolt hits theaters and is available for download via digital HD on Monday, November 28. Check out the trailer here: