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Bolt was born on 21 August 1986 in Sherwood Content,[21] a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica, and grew up with his parents, Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt, his brother Sadiki,[22]and his sister Sherine.[2][23] His parents ran the local grocery store in the rural area, and Bolt spent his time playing cricket and football in the street with his brother,[24] later saying, "When I was young, I didn’treally think about anything other than sports".[25]
As a child, Bolt attended Waldensia Primary, where he first began to show his sprinting potential, running in the annual national primary-schools' meeting for his parish.[15] By the age of twelve, Bolt had become the school's fastest runner over the 100 metresdistance.[26]

Upon his entry to William Knibb Memorial High School, Bolt continued tofocus on other sports, but his cricket coach noticed Bolt's speed on the pitch and urged him to try track and field events.[27] Pablo McNeil, a former Olympic sprint athlete,[28] and Dwayne Jarrettcoached Bolt,[29] encouraging him to focus his energy on improving his athletic abilities. The school had a history of success in athletics with past students, including sprinterMichael Green.[15] Bolt wonhis first annual high school championships medal in 2001, taking the silver medal in the 200 metres with a time of 22.04 seconds.[15] McNeil soon became his primary coach, and the two enjoyed a positive partnership, although McNeil was occasionally frustrated by Bolt's lack of dedication to his training and his penchant for practical jokes.[28]

Performing for Jamaica in his first Caribbeanregional event, Bolt clocked a personal best of 48.28 s in the 400 metres in the 2001 CARIFTA Games, winning a silver medal. The 200 m also yielded a silver as Bolt finished in 21.81 s.[30]

He made his first appearance on the world stage at the 2001 IAAF World Youth Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. Running in the 200 m event, he failed to qualify for the finals, but he still set a newpersonal best of 21.73 s.[31] Bolt still did not take athletics or himself too seriously, however, and he took his mischievousness to new heights by hiding in the back of a van when he was supposed to be preparing for the 200 m finals at the CARIFTA Trials. He was detained by the police for his practical joke, and there was an outcry from the local community, which blamed coach McNeil for theincident.[28] However, the controversy subsided, and both McNeil and Bolt went to the CARIFTA Games, where Bolt set championship records in the 200 m and 400 m with times of 21.12 s and 47.33 s, respectively.[30] He continued to set records with 20.61 s and 47.12 s finishes at theCentral American and Caribbean Junior Championships.[32]

Bolt is one of only 8 athletes, (along with Valerie Adams, VeronicaCampbell-Brown,Jacques Freitag, Yelena Isinbayeva, Jana Pittman, Dani Samuels) to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event. Former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson recognised Bolt's talent and arranged for him to move to Kingston, along with Jermaine Gonzales, so he could train with the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) at the University ofTechnology, Jamaica.[28]

The 2002 World Junior Championships before a home crowd in Kingston, Jamaica, gave Bolt a chance to prove his credentials on the world stage. By the age of 15, he had grown to 1.96 metres (6 ft 5 in) tall, and he physically stood out amongst his peers.[15] He won the 200 m, in a time of 20.61 s,[33] 0.03 seconds slower than his personal best of 20.58 s set in the 1stround.[34] Bolt's 200 m win made him the youngest world-junior gold medalist ever.

Bolt was growing more popular in his homeland. Howard Hamilton, who was given the task of Public Defender by the government, urged the JAAA to nurture him and prevent burnout, calling Bolt "the most phenomenal sprinter ever produced by this island".[43] His popularity and the attractions of the capital city were...
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