BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the Men's 100m Final and the gold medal at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Usain Bolt of Jamaica finished the event in first place with a time of 9.69, a new World Record. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

The Night Usain Bolt Became a Legend

10 years later, remembering the fastest man alive's first 100m Olympic gold.

Over 91,000 people packed Beijing's National Stadium on August 16, 2008 to watch the Olympic men's 100m final — one of the most iconic events in all of sports. A tall, gangly 21-year-old Jamaican sprinter named Usain Bolt made sure they wouldn't leave disappointed, blazing to victory in world-record time of 9.69 seconds to win his first Olympic gold medal. The moment marked the coronation of a transcendent athlete, whose combination of speed and swagger brought a previously unseen enthusiasm to the sport. Ten years later, FOTO looks back at the historic performance — from every angle.

BEIJING - AUGUST 16: The starter fires the starting pistol in the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. B(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) Cameron Spencer/Getty Images HUMBLE BEGINNING Bolt, who set a world record of 9.72 seconds just a few months before the Beijing Games, came into the race as one of the favorites but was far from being a household name. BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica leads the field on his way to winning the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt clocked a new world record time of 9.69 seconds. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Ezra Shaw/Getty Images PICKING UP SPEED From high above, the race begins to take shape. BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica (R) celebrates as he approaches the line on his way to winning the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt clocked a new world record time of 9.69 seconds. (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images) Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images PULLING AWAY World class sprinters aren't traditionally as tall as 6-foot-5, but it quickly became clear that there was nothing traditional about Bolt. BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica (2nd L) celebrates as he approaches the line on his way to winning the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt clocked a new world record time of 9.69 seconds. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Al Bello/Getty Images NO DOUBT With roughly 20 meters to go, Bolt's lead was more than comfortable and he began slapping his chest in celebration. BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica (R) celebrates as he approaches the line on his way to winning the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt clocked a new world record time of 9.69 seconds. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images) Adam Pretty/Getty Images WITH EASE The performance was so dominant that Bolt famously slowed down before the finish line.
BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the line in the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Usain Bolt of Jamaica finished the event in first place with a time of 9.69, a new World Record. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the line to win the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt finished in a new world record time of 9.69 seconds. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images; Ezra Shaw/Getty Images BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates as he crosses the line in the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt finished the event in first place with a time of 9.69, a new World Record. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) Michael Steele/Getty Images WIDE STRIDE Bolt, flying through the finish line with arms wide open remains one of the many lasting images from his exceptional evening — and from the Beijing games themselves. BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the Men's 100m Final and the gold medal at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Usain Bolt of Jamaica finished the event in first place with a time of 9.69, a new World Record. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images TO DI WORLD The Jamaican's now-signature celebration — "To Di World" — is introduced to the adoring Beijing crowd.
BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the Men's 100m Final and the gold medal at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt finished the event in first place with a time of 9.69, a new World Record. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the Men's 100m Final and the gold medal at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt finished the event in first place with a time of 9.69, a new World Record. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images; Ezra Shaw/Getty Images BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates next to the scoreboard winning the Men's 100m Final and the gold medal at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Usain Bolt of Jamaica finished the event in first place with a time of 9.69, a new World Record. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images) Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images FASTEST MAN ALIVE His blistering time made Bolt the first sprinter in history to run the 100m in under 9.7 seconds. It didn't last long though — he would set a new record a year later with a time of 9.58 seconds at the 2009 Berlin World Championships. BEIJING - AUGUST 16: Usain Bolt of Jamaica kisses his shoes after winning the Men's 100m Final at the National Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 16, 2008 in Beijing, China. Bolt clocked a new world record time of 9.69 seconds. (Photo by Getty Images) Getty Images GOLD STANDARD The spikes match the medal — his first of six individual Olympic golds in his dominant career.

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