Jamaica: Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt celebrates victory in the men's 200 metres at Beijing 2008.
Place of birth: Trelawny, Jamaica
Previous Olympics: 2
Previous medals: 3
Usain Bolt is so much more than one of the world's greatest-ever sprinters.
The Jamaican is quite simply the most colourful, most charismatic, most entertaining athlete on the planet. If his breathtaking speed has made him the best, his personality and sense of fun have made him the best loved.
From his pre-race antics - the laughing, the joking, the dancing and the globally-recognised 'Lighting Bolt' pose - to his jaw-dropping 9.58 seconds time to win the 100 metres world title in Berlin in 2009, and his equally astonishing false start in the 100m final in Daegu two years later, Bolt is his sport's leading man.
Or 'Dr The Honourable Ambassador Usain St Leo Bolt OJ' to give him his full title, with formal recognition from the Jamaican government and the University of The West Indies joining the 100m and 200m gold medals and world records from the 2008 Olympics and 2009 World Championships in his impressive list of honours.
A born lover of the limelight and a natural showman, Bolt's laid-back demeanour, always evident on the start line of even the most pressure-filled races, is legendary.
He did not even put a stop to the antics ahead of the 200m final at last year's World Championships, with all the scrutiny that followed his 100m false start.
Seemingly inspired by the talk about whether his behaviour was a distraction, he calmly exchanged a fist bump with the young girl behind his block tasked with collecting his clothes - and then, inevitability, sprinted to gold.
But that calm exterior, and interior apparently, belies a determination that is like solid steel.
The 1.96m-tall sprinter, who has suffered from scoliosis - a curvature of the spine - since birth and has been hampered by the condition, has curbed his natural party instincts to dedicate himself to a punishing training regime, often rising before dawn in his bid to stay ahead of the pack.
And it is some pack that he has to stay ahead of, with sprinting enjoying a truly golden era.
The likes of compatriot Asafa Powell and American Tyson Gay must be wondering how many medals and records they might have collected by now had their rival not been around.
Instead, Bolt has monopolised the honours. And he is showing no sign of losing his appetite for more.
Before last year's World Championships in Daegu, he insisted that he did not yet consider himself a "legend" of the sport. This from a man who already had one of biggest trophy cabinets around, with those three Olympic gold medals from Beijing taking pride of place.
Luckily for us, if not for his rivals, his hunger for more success appears to know no bounds.
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Date 14-08-08, Duration 3:34, Views 86