Rio Olympics 2016: Why is Usain Bolt so popular?
In the past decade he has been the biggest star in world sport and now Usain Bolt is on the brink of yet more history.
Victory in the 200m final at Rio 2016 means the 29-year-old needs another win in the 4x100m relay alongside his Jamaican team-mates at 02:35 BST on Saturday to complete an unprecedented 'treble treble' of Olympic sprint golds in the 100m, 200m and relay.
He's done it all while athletics has been struggling to maintain its popularity, a succession of doping scandals draining away people's belief in what they're watching.
It's not too much of a stretch to describe Bolt as his sport's saviour. His remarkable feats can, briefly, bring the world to a halt, while he possesses a magnetic appeal that transcends track and field and crosses generations.
Why is he so popular? And, as BBC TV's Olympic coverage asked in the aftermath of his latest gold, what on earth are we going to do without him?
Selfies and smiles
Unaffected, laid-back but always the showman, Bolt makes the superhuman seem routine and his easy charm is hugely endearing.
Of course, people are also awed by watching staggering sporting feats - like setting world records in the 100m of 9.58 seconds and the 200m of 19.19 seconds - but it's the way he does it that makes Bolt different.
Not for him the muscular machismo of many sprinters. Swaying, dancing and posing before and after races, he looks like he's having a great time and the sense of fun is infectious.
While the time we see him in action is oh so brief, he appears to have all the time in the world for fans and journalists once his business is complete.
His laps of honour feature a seemingly endless stream of selfies for thrilled supporters, with Bolt providing a smile for everyone. He waits patiently when some fans struggle to get the settings on their phone right and shows them how it's done when technology defeats them.
Once he's amiably ambled his way round the track, it's straight into a succession of interviews,.
BBC Radio 5 live's Sonia McLaughlin was number 49 in the line of media waiting to speak with Bolt after his 200m victory and he fielded similar questions with the same excitement - more than an hour after his race had finished - as he had when he spoke to the BBC's trackside television reporter Phil Jones in the immediate aftermath of his race.
His appeal overwhelms some journalists who lose all semblance of professionalism and demand their own selfies. It's all in a day's work for Bolt.
With his 30th birthday on Sunday and retirement due after next year's World Athletics Championships in London, let's continue to enjoy him while we still can.
Fans in the Olympic Stadium on what they love about Bolt
Reaction to Bolt's eighth Olympic gold
The man himself said: "What else can I do to prove I am the greatest? I'm trying to be one of the greatest, to be among Ali and Pele. I have made the sport exciting, I have made people want to see the sport. I have put the sport on a different level."
Fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, 2012 Olympic 100m silver medallist and 2011 world champion: "Congrats to my friend and training partner Usain Bolt. Well done big man. A true inspiration and a living legend!"
Tennis player Genie Bouchard to fellow Canadian and 200m silver medallist Andre de Grasse: "Silver after Bolt is really like gold am I right?"
Wayde van Niekerk, 400m gold medallist and world record holder: "Congratulations Usain Bolt, King of sprints. True inspiration and motivation."
Breaking records, having a ball
What could he do next?
There's no doubting his athletic ability - Bolt is built for running.
But such a perfect sportsman could surely adapt to other disciplines? We put his details into our Olympic body match tool to find out what else he's equipped for.
Here are the results. at 1.95m tall and weighing 94kg, Bolt is similar to:
1. Russian rower Anton Zarutskiy
2. Irish hockey player David Harte
3. Argentine volleyball player Cristian Poglajen
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