Usain Bolt took home his eighth career gold medal on Thursday night with an easy victory in the 200 meters. It was his second gold of the Rio Games and has stirred debate about where Bolt ranks among the greatest Olympians in history.
For Bolt, there is no question.
"I am trying to be one of the greatest," he said. "Be among Ali and Pele. I hope after these games I will be in that bracket.
"I don't need to prove anything else. What else can I do to prove to the world I am the greatest?"
Bolt has long made his admiration for Ali known, underscoring with this tweet when he died earlier this year:
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) June 4, 2016
So let's go to the tape:
AP file photo/Charles Harrity
Height: 6 foot 3
Gold medals: 1
AP file photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Height: 5 foot 8
World Cup titles: 3
FIFA Player of the Century: 1
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Height: 6 foot 5
Record: 8-0 (in the Olympics)
Gold medals: 8
World records: 2
It may take some time for Bolt to fully cement his legacy as the greatest Olympian in history. But he has been alongside Ali at least once, in this inspirational commercial mashup: