Usain Bolt says near-death experience put him closer to God

(Jamaica Gleaner) The world’s fastest man has admitted that he now has a different perspective on life and is closer to God after his involvement in a car accident in 2009.

Usain Bolt, the six-time Olympic gold medallist and 100m and 200m world record holder, walked away with minor injuries after losing control of, and wrecking his BMW M3 motor car along Highway 2000 in April 2009.

That experience, the superstar sprinter said, has changed his life.

“I definitely think that I am a different person as a result of that car crash,” said Bolt during an hourlong BBC 5 Live interview last Thursday. Bolt is currently promoting his second autobiography – Faster Than Lightning.

Bolt, who noted that he has since attended church on a more regular basis, also stated that he is now convinced his purpose is not just to win medals and break records, but also to inspire people.

“For me, initially when I started out, I was happy to just … I was working hard to be Olympic champion. When it got to the World Championships, that year it was different. I was training, I just wanted to win and do good, but after the accident, I knew that I was born to run,” Bolt said.

“There are so many things that could have happened in that car crash and I came out unscathed. No problems, so I just look at it that I am just blessed to run, and from that I just wanted to inspire people,” added the sprinter with world record times of 9.58 (100m) and 19.19 (200m).

“So I have worked hard and the focus has been different from then on,” he added.

Bolt who, like most Jamaicans, spent his early days in the church, still receives regular Bible verses from his aunt.

“It (the accident) has made me look at my life. But I was brought up as a Christian with my parents,” he admits.

“When I got to Kingston, I didn’t go to church as often, but I have gone to church a lot more (now). (I don’t go to church) as much as I should, but I have gone a lot more,” said Bolt.

Bolt was also unharmed in a second car accident in June 2012 in Half-Way Tree.

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