The first thing you notice about Usain Bolt is just how slow he is. He walks at a glacial pace, plodding in Jamaica’s midday sun like a knackered donkey.

His every movement is sedate, unhurried, sluggish – from tying his shoelaces to eating a lunch of rice and peas.

Which makes it all the more surprising that Bolt is the fastest man ever to live. By some distance.

Last night in London's Olympic stadium, Bolt smashed the Olympic record, notching up a gold in the 100m and proving to the world he's very much still got it.

Here's what he had to say when we caught up with him in Kingston, Jamaica, earlier this year…

FHM: Is it hard to take in all the success you’ve had?
Bolt: It’s mind-blowing to think about it sometimes, but for me it’s just a good thing that I was brought up as a grounded person. I was raised by my parents to always enjoy what I do and to never let what you accomplish go to your head; to just be the same person you always are.

You’ve earned a hell of a lot of money over the past few years. What do you spend it on?
Cars. I buy a lot of cars.

Which are your favourites?
My Nissan GT Skyline. My new BMW M3 convertible. And my Shelby Mustang GT500 – that was the last one they tried to steal in Gone In 60 Seconds.

Aside from fast cars, what else do you get up to in your spare time?
Nothing! I watch TV, mainly basketball, football. I love football – I support Manchester United in the Premiership.

Could you have been a footballer?
Yeah, I think I could. I played a lot of football and cricket when I was younger. I still play sometimes now, but I’m not allowed to play close to competition time.

If you had the chance, would you trade in running for being Man United’s star striker?
Yeah, I would for sure! After the Olympics…

Are you any good at other sports?
I actually started off with cricket. I was the opening fast bowler. It was the school cricket coach who discovered that I was so fast. It was a sports day and he said to me, “Why don’t you try running?” So I ran on sports day and I did well.

How long did it take before you realised you were a bit special?                                       I think it was when I got to 15 and everybody said, “You have a talent, and you can go far if you really work on it.” That’s when people started pushing me, telling me I should continue and work hard.

How much of your success is down to raw talent, and how much is down to hard work?
I can’t say. The fact that I have a good time is one thing, but I also train really hard, and the work pays off, so I guess it’s 50/50.

 

Over your career, you’ve achieved some incredible things. What’s been your best moment so far?
The biggest moment of my life has to be the World Juniors in Jamaica [in 2002]. That’s what made me who I am. Because I did it in front of my home crowd.

Now that you’re a global superstar, do you still have the same friends from when you were a kid?
Yeah, a few of them from school and a few running friends, we still hang out.

Isn’t it about time you got yourself a pop star girlfriend?
There aren’t any pop stars in Jamaica!

Rihanna’s pretty close, isn’t she?
Yeah, that would be nice. Very nice.

What sort of clothes do you wear to woo the ladies?
I try to keep it simple. Plain white tees. I’m not extravagant, unless it’s a big occasion; then I’ll try to look all flashy and stuff.

So what do you put on for a big celebratory night out?
I don’t wear a lot of jewellery, but I like flashy clothes like Gucci. I like Beckham’s style sense a lot.

Hopefully you’ll be celebrating this summer. How fast do you think you can run at London 2012?
I don’t know. Hopefully I can break my old record. I’m going to work on that, and try to stay focused and just work hard.

You’ve previously run the 100m in 9.58 seconds. What time do you think you could do this summer?
I don’t know, honestly. If everything goes right, 9.4 [seconds] is a good possibility.

Can you see your records being beaten within your lifetime?
Well, hopefully not. They say great athletes come around every 10 years or so, so hopefully the next great one won’t be a track and field one!

Jamaica has produced a lot of record-breaking sprinters. Why is that?
Running is just so big here. If you watch the youth events you see the pride the kids put into winning. The coaches search for talent around the island, so that’s why all the kids come through, because we search and people want to learn fast.

When do you get the biggest rush during a race? Crossing the line?
No, it’s before I start running. It’s something I really look forward to – when I go out for the first time, when the crowd sees me coming out, when they announce my name.

Do you still get nervous?
It depends on the reception I get. At the World Championships, when I came out for the 200m there were lots of kids there and that was wonderful for me. That is a moment I will always remember.

Does the crowd play a big part?
Yeah, I perform for the crowd. I don’t only want to go out there and run, I want to give the crowd as much love and I want them to enjoy it as much as possible.

What goes through your head as you’re waiting to start a race?
The majority of what you’re thinking is just to get the execution right at the start because that’s always my main problem. It’s the hardest bit, but as long as I get the execution right, then I’m more comfortable.

What do you think about when you’re running?
I try to concentrate at the beginning and in the first half, but the second half just comes naturally.

You were criticised for celebrating before you crossed the line in the 100m in Beijing. Was that arrogance?
That was just happiness. I was just happy that I made it to the finals. It was joyous.

Do you worry about injuries? One little slip and that could be it…
I think in life you’ve got to look at it as: things happen when they’re going to happen. You can’t do anything about it. Certain things you can try to avoid, but if you’re going to twist your ankle, you’re going to twist your ankle. So for me, I just try to live and try to enjoy my life. Sometimes you see yourself standing there and you have to relax yourself a little.

What does the future hold for you after running?
I’d like to travel a lot.

Anywhere in particular?
Everywhere. I just want to pick somewhere and go, because we work so hard and at the moment I get to travel, but I never get to see places I go to. The worry for me is that I go to so many different places now, that when I retire I’ll have nowhere to go! Hopefully when I retire I’ll have a steady girlfriend and maybe I’ll have a kid or two.

What else do you plan to do – would you ever go into coaching?
No, I don’t want to coach or anything like that. Hopefully I’ll own a few businesses, maybe a few restaurants and stuff like that. Stuff to turn money over, so I can just sit and get fat really. Actually, I don’t want to get fat, but I just want to be lazy. I don’t want to do much. I think track and field sports are so hard that after your career you shouldn’t do much. Just take it easy and do what you want to do. Travel and just enjoy what you worked so hard to gain!