As the three-time Olympic champion in the 100-meter dash, Usain Bolt holds the unofficial title of “World’s Fastest Man” that comes with it. Due to that title, you can imagine that many people come up to Bolt challenging him to a race trying to get the better of him. In fact, according to Bolt, back at the 2012 London Olympics that’s exactly what retired boxer turned actor Mickey Rourke did.
Bolt told the story to Russ Bengston of Complex as part of a larger interview discussing his training regimen and Olympic success. Here’s the story that was Bolt’s response to Bengston asking whether people challenge him to races:
“People all the time. People all the time. But the only person that was the biggest thing was Mickey Rourke. He challenged me to a race and I thought he was joking he’s like “let’s go!” In the streets at like 3 in the morning, he took his shoes off and everything. Like for 20 meters.”
The interesting thing about this story is that it isn’t the first time that it’s been told. Rourke gave his side of things to Martin Rogers and Yahoo! Sports back in 2012. Rourke’s version differs somewhat, saying that the race happened at the end of a night of drinking and that he actually got the better of Bolt in a 30 meter race.
“We were outside the Wellington in Central London and it was four in the morning,” Rourke said. “It was just that time of the night, you know, when anything can happen. So I went up to him and I said, ‘Come on, you are the world’s fastest man, let’s go.’
“There was a space in the street of about 30 meters,” Rourke said. “I got him to back up about four paces, we set off and I got him by a few inches.”
So there you have it. People do try and challenge Bolt all the time and he definitely raced Mickey Rourke in the early morning hours in London. Whether Rourke won or not is up for debate.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.