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Photographer Snaps Iconic Photo of Usain Bolt’s Winning Smile


Olympic Games often produce iconic photos, and that’s what happened this Sunday during the men’s 100 meter semifinals. Getty Images photographer Cameron Spencer managed to capture a remarkable photo that shows Usain Bolt flashing a “cheeky grin” as he comfortably wins the race.

This week, Spencer’s photo of Bolt is going viral around the world, both the original shot and also memes that have been created based on the image.

Spencer did an interview with NPR about how he captured the photo:

“When [Bolt] went past me, you know, this happens in 9 1/2 seconds, and I kind of knew at the 70-meter mark he was going to probably be ahead of the rest,” Spencer tells NPR. “When he passed me around the 70-meter mark, I was infield and I sort of panned my camera with him.”

“It wasn’t till I looked at the back of my camera — firstly hoping that something was sharp and that I’d captured it — I then realized he’s almost looking straight at me and he had the big grin going, and the eyes, and I knew that it was special once I saw that.”

Update: Reuters photographer Kai Pfaffenbach captured a near-identical photo that’s also going viral as a meme.

Only the semi, but my #picoftheday #rio2016 #olympics #usainbolt #lightningbolt #fastandfurious #runandsmile #canon #cps #puma

A photo posted by Kai Pfaffenbach (@kai_pfaffenbach) on

Image credits: Photograph by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images