6 surprising facts about Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man

Usain Bolt celebrating after winning 200m sprint in Beijing on Aug 28, 2015.
Usain Bolt celebrating after winning 200m sprint in Beijing on Aug 28, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

With his 10 world championship titles and six Olympic golds, Usain Bolt is undeniably one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time.

Seven years after he first shot to worldwide fame at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Jamaican was back at the Chinese capital for the ongoing World Championships at the Bird's Nest Stadium. He did not disappoint his legions of fans as he defeated his arch-rival Justin Gatlin of the United States in the 100m and 200m events.

While his exploits on the track are well documented, here are some facts about the human "Lightning Bolt" which you might not have known.

1. Chicken McNuggets were key to his 2008 success

Here's the secret to Usain Bolt's success at the Beijing Olympics in 2008: McDonald's. Or more specifically, Chicken McNuggets.

He downed about 1,000 nuggets in 10 days in Beijing in 2008. That's about 4,700 calories worth of Chicken McNuggets a day.

Not because they make him go faster - but because the Jamaican thought Chinese food was "odd".

He is however, ditching fast food in the hopes of completing a triple triple - winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold medals at three Olympics - in Rio next year.

2. Bolt's a businessman too

When he's not busy being a blur of lightning on the running track, the 29-year-old Bolt keeps himself occupied with a host of other interests.

Not only has he launched his own set of 'Run-Free' in-ear headphones with Soul Electronics, he also has a clothing line called the Bolt Collection and he owns a restaurant named Tracks And Records in Jamaica.

3. He has his own video game

Launched in 2012, Bolt! quickly became the No. 1 app in Jamaica.

Created by gaming company RockLive (now known as Shots Mobile), Bolt appears as an animated version of himself and has to clear challenges to win points.

The hugely popular game also reached the No. 2 spot in the UK's Top Free Apps list.

4. Cricket and football were his first loves

Growing up, he was a promising fast bowler and counted compatriot Chris Gayle, Paksitan's Waqar Younis and Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar among his sporting heroes.

He is also a huge Manchester United fan and was a special guest of the club at the 2011 Champions League final in London, where United lost to Barcelona.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand had in 2012 offered to help Bolt set up a trial at Old Trafford to impress then manager Alex Ferguson and Bolt reportedly said: "People think I am joking. But if Alex Ferguson called me up and said: 'OK let's do this, come and have a trial', it would be impossible for me to say no.

"I would not take up the challenge if I didn't think I was good enough. I am a very accomplished player and know I could make a difference."

5. He's a marketer's dream

Bolt has endorsement deals with a host of companies, including Gatorade, Hublot, Virgin Media, Visa, Nissan Motors and Puma, his biggest sponsor who has been with him the longest.

He was ranked 73rd in Forbes' latest rich list with US$21 million (S$29 million ) in earnings has a global ambassador deal in place with Puma in retirement worth as much as US$4 million a year through 2025. He also commands a fee of US$250,000 to appear at an event.

6. Nothing seems to trip him up

At the 2008 Beijing Games, not only did he have to deal with unfavourable winds, his shoes were untied during the 100m race.

It did nothing to slow him down though on that day. He was faster than not just the seven runners around him, he was also faster than anyone in the history of the sport as he clocked a world record 9.69sec to win his first ever Olympic gold medal.