Skip to content

Usain Bolt races virtual cheetah (video)

Dec 2, 2013, 12:18 PM EDT

Usain Bolt has accomplished pretty much all there is in sprinting, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever beat a cheetah.

As part of “Big Cat Week,” Nat Geo Wild studied what would have happened if a cheetah took part in the 2009 World Championships 100m final, where Bolt set the world record of 9.58 seconds.

Bolt’s time equaled 23 miles per hour (though Nat Geo says 28 mph, which Bolt probably reached or got close to at his peak speed). A cheetah can sprint nearly 70 mph, according to Nat Geo.

In the video, a virtual cheetah is placed between Bolt and Doc Patton. What happens when the gun goes off is predictable. The cheetah zooms past the field, including Bolt, and crosses the finish in 5.95, obliterating the world record.

Nat Geo determined that Bolt would need at least a 40-meter head start to beat the cheetah.

(h/t @atoboldon)

Video: Usain Bolt and the great tortoise race

Latest Posts
  1. Usain Bolt not happy with Tyson Gay’s reduced ban

    Jul 22, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT

    Olympics Day 15 - Athletics Getty Images

    “It is sending a bad message,” Bolt said.

  2. Gabby Douglas helps girl’s dream come true with Make-A-Wish

    Jul 22, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT

    Gabby Douglas

    Amarissa, 13, is a former gymnast who suffers from lupus.

  3. David Boudia ponders a third diving event leading to 2016

    Jul 22, 2014, 12:24 PM EDT

    David Boudia Getty Images

    Olympic champion finished his season in Shanghai last week.

  4. Guide to the Commonwealth Games

    Jul 22, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

    Usain Bolt Getty Images

    Top sprinters from Jamaica, swimmers from Australia and more gather in Glasgow.

  5. First Olympic golf qualification rankings released

    Jul 21, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT

    Rory McIlroy AP

    U.S. stars would not make the Olympic field if it was determined today.

  6. Big 12 commissioner says men’s Olympic sports could be cut

    Jul 21, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

    Bob Bowlsby AP

    NCAA’s current lawsuits may cut funding.

  7. Dutch cyclist cheats death twice, avoids both Malaysian Airlines flights

    Jul 21, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT

    Maarten de Jonge `

    “It’s inconceivable,” Maarten de Jonge said.

  8. 90-plus-year-old men set 3 world relay records at USATF Masters

    Jul 21, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT

    Champion Goldy

    Extraordinary men include war veterans, longtime NASA worker, Methodist minister.

  9. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics chief quits

    Jul 21, 2014, 8:33 AM EDT

    Kim Jin-sun AP

    Kim Jin-sun had been the committee’s president since October 2011.

  10. Mariel Zagunis wins silver at World Fencing Championships (video)

    Jul 18, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT

    Mariel Zagunis Getty Images

    U.S. Olympic flag bearer returned to the podium after missing medals at 2012 Olympics, 2013 Worlds.

  11. Henry Ellard, former NFL All-Pro receiver, competes at USATF Masters

    Jul 18, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT

    Henry Ellard Getty Images

    Ellard triple jumped at 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials.

  12. Jesse Owens biopic cast headliners revealed

    Jul 17, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

    Jesse Owens AP

    Multiple Owens biopics in the works.

  13. Lifetime doping bans not legal, WADA president says

    Jul 17, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

    Craig Reedie Reuters

    But a four-year ban would stand up in court.

  14. Olympians, Paralympians at the ESPYs (photos)

    Jul 17, 2014, 1:49 PM EDT

    Jamie Anderson

    Sochi stars and a 12-time Olympic medalist were at Nokia Theater.

  15. Monaco Diamond League on world record watch; preview

    Jul 17, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    Absel Kiprop Getty Images

    Asbel Kiprop goes after 16-year-old mark in 1500m.

  16. South Korea men’s hockey team might not qualify for 2018

    Jul 17, 2014, 10:53 AM EDT

    South Korea hockey Getty Images

    Host countries aren’t assured spots in the Olympics anymore, and South Korea is ranked very low.

  17. Paralympic champion Josh Sweeney receives Tillman Award at ESPYs

    Jul 17, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

    Josh Sweeney AP

    Sweeney, a Purple Heart recipient, scored the gold-winning goal in Sochi.