How the Photographer Captured That Incredible Smiling Usain Bolt Photo
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt made history on Aug. 14 when he became the first Olympian to win three straight 100-meter gold medals. But it’s the photo captured of him in motion during the 100-meter semifinal round that had everyone talking the following morning.
In the photo that has since gone viral, Bolt is sporting a dashing smile as he charges past his competitors. In an interview with CBS Sports, photographer Cameron Spencer revealed how he was able to capture the iconic image.
Spencer has photographed the world’s fastest man in three Olympics and two World Championships, and it’s his previous years of experience with Bolt that prepared him to capture the speedster in all his glory.
“When shooting the world’s fastest man you always need to be on your toes and ready. Last night when he flew past me with perfect technique and his huge stride, he looked back and smiled; I only had a moment to capture this epic Olympic moment, but I was in the right place, ready,” said Spencer.
He continued, “I decided to take a risk and shoot a pan at a slow shutter speed, knowing he would coast past his competitors around the 70-meter mark. He makes it look easy, almost playing with his competitors. Bolt is so confident and such an elite athlete, shooting him is an amazing experience.”
Known for his entertaining nature, Bolt doesn’t shy away from the spotlight, either—his outgoing personality is one of the main reasons people adore him.
“I like to entertain,” he said in an interview with USA Today this month. “Definitely a sprinter first, but I like to entertain. That’s what people come out to see. That’s what I do. I try to entertain and make it different. That’s why people love me so much.”
Bolt will turn 30 years old on Aug. 21.