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better know an olympian

Better Know an Olympian: Usain Bolt

ROME, ITALY - MAY 31:  Jamaica's Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt reacts after winning the 100m men at the IAAF Compeed Golden Gala at Stadio Olimpico on May 31, 2012 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images) He has to put his arms out just to slow himself down.

The Olympics begin in about a week, and you will spend a fortnight obsessing over athletes and sports you won't think about again for another four years. (If then.) To prepare you for the big games o' London, we're showcasing a different athlete every weekday until they begin. Today: Usain Bolt.

Name: Usain Bolt
Nationality: Jamaica
Sport:
Track

Previous Olympic experience: Won three gold medals in Beijing. He's pretty awesome.

You might know him from: That blur you remember catching out of the corner of your eye four years ago. Our favorite was his win in the 100-meter dash, which was a world record even though he purposely slowed down at the end and his shoelace was untied.

Most embarrassing public moment: In last year's 2011 World Championships in the 100 meters, his signature event, he was disqualified for false starts.

Most proud public moment: We still think someday he's going to win a gold medal running backwards.

What to expect from him this year: He's going to face far more challenges this year, particularly from fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake and American Justin Gatlin, and he's even sleeping on some crazy bed to rest his back. He'll still probably smoke everyone anyway.

Odds that you'll remember his name in four years: He's already a legend — they'll be talking about him in 40 years.

Previously:
Lia Neal

Michael Phelps
Oscar Pistorius

Kim Rhode

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Photo: Paolo Bruno/2012 Getty Images