What Is the Story Behind the Iconic Usain Bolt Victory Pose?

Published 10/03/2021, 2:47 PM EDT
BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 27: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning gold in the Men’s 200 metres final during day six of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 27, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)


Usain Bolt, also known as ‘Lightning Bolt’, is the fastest recorded sprinter on the planet. The 8-time Olympic gold medalist is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100m and 200m titles at 3 consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, and 2016). Whenever Bolt has won, he has celebrated with his iconic victory pose, which is hard to miss!

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It was his double sprint victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympics that made him renowned worldwide. He celebrated this big win of his by introducing the world with his signature move the “To Di World” pose. Over the years, with the numerous accolades he has won and records he has set, the celebration has become famous worldwide.

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“To Di World” – Usain Bolt Victory Style

Usain Bolt’s “To Di World” is also known as ‘Bolting. It involves leaning back and pointing both index fingers towards the sky with the right arm cocked and the left stretched out.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning gold in the Men’s 200m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The origin of his signature move is a shockingly simple one. The gesture is inspired by a Jamaican dancehall move popular in 2008. It makes sense because apparently Bolt loves Dancehall.

“One day me and my friend were talking,” Bolt said. “I was like, ‘Yo, imagine if I did this’ and he was like, ‘Ya that would be pretty cool.’ So, I just did it and kept the name. It works and people loved it, so it’s brilliant.”

Bolt was happy about the fact that his move was being used by people all over the world. The famous Brazilian soccer star Neymar, Prince Harry of the United Kingdom, and President Obama have used it as well.

“Everybody I meet, they know what it is, and they always try to do it or they always try to get me to do it,” he added. “It’s been wonderful. It really took off around the world.”

Although the Jamaican former sprinter retired in 2017, his legacy, including the “To Di World” pose, has made its place in our hearts.

DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: How Does Olympic Legend Usain Bolt Match Up Against A Metro Train?

25 days ago

Bolt eliminates the thought of a comeback

Usain Bolt, the 8-time Olympic medalist, has ruled out the idea to return to sports. The 2016 Rio Games was the last time we saw him at the Olympics. He decided to end his journey as a sportsperson after the 2017 World Championships.

BEIJING – AUGUST 20: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men’s 200m Final ahead of Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe and Shawn Crawford of the United States at the National Stadium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Although he has no plans to come back, he did admit that he still has the “itch”.

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It’s too late. If I were to come back, it would have been for this Olympics.” He said in an interview to the BCC. “When I told my coach I was going to retire, he sat down and said, ‘When you retire, that’s it. I’m not on a comeback tour, I’m not doing anything. So, make sure you are ready to retire’.”

“I remember going to him in 2019 and saying,’ What do you think about coming back to the Olympics?’ And he looked at me and said, ‘Don’t start.’ So, if it’s not my coach, I’m not going to do it. Because I believe in him and if he says no, it’s no! But I have that itch.” 

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Bolt’s charismatic personality is as much of a factor in his GOAT status as his incredible ability. He gave the world a truly iconic celebration, as well as plently of world records.

WATCH NOW: ‘Anything I do, I want to be the best’: Usain Bolt

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Richa Goswami

64 articles

Richa Goswami is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an adherent learner, she uses her journalistic persona to navigate through new skills. Richa has completed her schooling at Don Bosco.

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