He's been called many things in his life: arrogant, flamboyant, self-serving, carefree, interesting – the list is long, the descriptions varied.
But there’s one thing no one has ever dared called Usain Bolt and that’s a softie. Until now, that is.
Enter Olympia Lightning Bolt, a tiny bundle of cuteness that has well and truly stolen the heart of one of the greatest athletes the planet has ever seen.
Usain introduced his baby to the world in a series of heart-melting pictures and revealed his partner, Kasi Bennett, had given him the gift of a daughter on Father’s Day.
“Now we’ve started a new chapter together,” he said on social media. “I look forward to what the future will bring but be reassured that I’ll be the rock of this family.”
Well that may be, but it’s also clear Olympia already has her big, strong daddy wrapped around her teeny-tiny finger.
In a heartwarming video posted recently, Usain can be seen cradling his daughter and urging her to “tell Daddy” what she has to say as the tot coos and babbles away.
“Best conversation ever,” he captions the clip.
The baby’s arrival is a dream come true for the retired athlete, who made no secret of his wish to be a father by the age of 35.
It’s also the cherry on top of his romance with Kasi, the 30-year-old model from the Jamaican town of Old Harbour he’s been dating for the past six years.
The couple have kept their relationship fairly private and aren’t often pictured together. But four years ago the cat was out of the bag when they were spotted kissing at a carnival in Kingston, Jamaica.
Usain told journalists he was dating “an uptown Jamaican girl”. He then made things Instagram official soon afterwards when he posted a picture of Kasi, calling her “the First Lady”.
Things haven’t all been plain sailing, though. Their relationship was rocked by scandal when pictures of the Olympic gold medallist canoodling with another woman surfaced after his 30th birthday bash at the end of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The photos showed a shirtless Usain in bed with Jady Duarte, a mother of two and widow of a Brazilian drug lord.
But Usain’s older sister, Christine Bolt-Hylton, was quick to pour cold water on the drama, claiming Jady had staged the photos. “I don’t think anything happened between him and the Brazilian girl,” she said.
“He loves Kasi too much to jeopardise the relationship.”
Usain had said it was Kasi’s “buttocks area” that first caught his eye.
“That’s what attracts me,” he said. “I only date curvaceous women.”
In an interview with The Telegraph, he said he’d intentionally kept his relationship secret at first to protect the Jamaican beauty. “I know when it gets out there’s going to be a lot of things to say, and I told her she can’t handle it.”
He also opened up about that wild night in Rio, which marked the end of his Olympic career. To celebrate his unprecedented nine gold medals at the Rio Games and turning 30, Usain racked up a £1 000 (then about R18 000) bar bill at a city nightclub.
He was seen twerking with a mystery brunette and kissing another woman.
Witnesses say he was “completely drunk” when he arrived at his accommodation in the athletes’ village at 7am with Jady.
But Usain said it was nothing but a storm in a teacup. “I’ve noticed that in Britain, every famous person as soon as they get famous, they have to get married. Like [Wayne] Rooney got married so young – all the footballers that are English, as soon as they get really famous, they have to get married and I think that’s unfair.
“You get famous, there’s so much pressure of girls wanting you. And for you to get married at 21, you haven’t lived one bit. It’s hard for you to stay with one woman because girls are literally just throwing themselves at you, pretty much trying to get with you.
“It’s hard to say no, you know what I mean? Jamaican culture is different – when you look at women and men having more than one . . . It’s different.”
Jamaicans are laid-back, he added. “We dance, we live our lives, we have fun. And when we get older, then it’s time to settle down and have a family.”
After hanging up his spikes in 2017, Usain, whose net worth is estimated at $90 million (about R1,5bn), was rumoured to return to the sport that made him famous.
“Every time I go to the track to see my coach and I watch him training I go, ‘Did I make the right decision?’
“But every time I train with them, I think, ‘Ah yeah, I made the right decision. I don’t miss this’.”
These days he spends his time giving back. His Usain Bolt Foundation works to benefit local youngsters through sport, and he insists that all the ads he features in be filmed in Jamaica by a local production crew.
He’s also dedicated his time to Kasi. “We just got really serious but we’re taking it one step at a time.”
The fastest man alive is in no rush to walk down the aisle. “I want to get married, because my parents are married. I’ve thought about it, but I know I’m not going to get married before 35, for sure.”
He hopes to follow the examples set by his folks, Wellesley and Jennifer, who spent a decade together before tying the knot. “I want to be like that; I want to have what my parents have. I definitely want a family. I’ve waited because I want to make sure it’s the right person.”
The first-time father told CBS news he was thrilled about his daughter’s arrival. “I’m excited but I’m nervous. I’ve always been a fun guy; I’ve always been that person.
But should I be that person and make my girlfriend be the bad guy? Those are the questions I’m asking, so we’ll see what happens.”
Kasi has described baby Olympia, whose name is a reference to the mountain of the gods in Greek mythology, as the couple’s “biggest blessing” and “greatest celebration”. If Usain has his way, there’ll be much to toast in the future. “I’ve always said I want three kids. The other day I hung out with my buddy who has three kids and it was crazy,” he told People magazine.
“I was like, mmm, do I really want three kids? But yes, I do. I’m sure.”
Even though Olympia’s full name is a nod to his sprinting success, he says she’s under no pressure to follow in her famous father’s footsteps.
“I wouldn’t want my kids to go into track and field – it’s really tough,” he said.
“I’d never push my kids into running. If they want to do it, sure.”
Meanwhile, he’ll be running around after them, lapping up the love every step of the way.
SOURCES: dailymail.com, independent.co.uk, cnn.com, people.com, cbs.com, bbcnews.com