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Posted: August 18, 2016

5 things you didn't know about Usain Bolt

Jamaica's Usain Bolt wins a men's 200-meter semifinal during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jamaica's Usain Bolt wins a men's 200-meter semifinal during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, is no stranger to the public eye. But there's much more to know about him than his times on the track.

Here are five things you might not have known about the 29-year-old runner:

1. He's worth more than $50 million.

The Jamaican sprinter, whose net worth surpasses that of American swimmer Michael Phelps, has had endorsements with Puma, Visa, Nissan, Gatorade, Virgin Media, Japan's All Nippon Airways and Australian telecom company Optus, among others. He launched his own business venture, Champion Shave, a company that produces and distributes high end razors, just ahead of the 2016 Rio Opening Ceremony. Bolt, who has won the gold medal seven times, has also earned thousands of dollars in Olympic winnings alone.

2. He was born with scoliosis.

But he works hard so that it doesn't affect his athletic performance. 

"When I was younger, it wasn't really a problem. But you grow and it gets worse," Bolt told ESPN. "My spine's really curved bad. But if I keep my core and back strong, the scoliosis doesn't really bother me. So I don't have to worry about it as long as I work hard. The early part of my career, when we didn't really know much about it, it really hampered me because I got injured every year."

3. He ate 1,000 chicken McNuggets during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In his autobiography, "Faster Than Lighting," Bolt said that while at the 2008 games, he initially ate 20 nuggets at a time, but as the games progressed, he started eating 100 McNuggets a day. In 2011, Bolt told ESPN that his pregame meal is chicken nuggets. 

4. He adopted a cheetah.

In 2009, Bolt paid $13,700 to adopt a cheetah cub, which he named Lightning Bolt, ESPN reported. His sponsorship of the animal was part of an effort to boost Kenyan conservation efforts. The money went to the Kenya Wildlife Service, with aims to help protect Kenya's endangered species.

5. He has never run a full mile.

Though running is his strength, Bolt's agent, Ricky Simms, told the The New Yorker, "Usain has never run a mile." According to multiple outlets, Bolt's primary race was the 200-meter dash, and his coach wanted his secondary event to be the 400-meter dash. The athlete "begged" to avoid the longer distance, and his coach said he could only get out of doing it if he ran a record-setting time in the 200, which he did. 

"Yeah, the riches on offer were high for a successful 100m sprinter," Bolt said. "But I didn't care about the prize funds. My only aim was to avoid running the 400m. That was it, period. And I didn’t imagine for one second that I would be a killer at it."


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