Arriving late for the Men’s 100m Final, I took one of the last photo positions left side on to the finish line. The race was over so quickly, however I somehow remember every one of the 9.69 seconds it took for Jamaican Usain Bolt to claim the gold.
As many of the photographers downed cameras to transmit the image of Bolt crossing the line, winning in World Record time, I moved slightly up the track to where nobody else was waiting. Once Bolt completed his victory lap, he removed his golden running shoes right in front of me, turned to the side and kissed them.
The sweat running down his skin and the special embroidered “Beijing 100m” on the side of the shoe complete this image of the world’s fastest man.
Editor’s note: Ryan Pierse is an award-winning photographer who came to Getty Images in 2004. He’s covered many major international sporting events, including the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Rugby World Cup, and numerous Commonwealth Games. His work has been published in many of the world’s leading publications. And Ryan has also been selected exclusively to shoot assignments for Nike Global, IOC (International Olympic Committee), FIFA, Laureus World Sport Awards, HBO, UEFA and Adidas Europe.