It is a predicament of his own making, mind you. Millions the world over have come to expect a world record from him each time he bursts from the starting blocks. Winning races just isn't enough.
And now, with a pair of losses to his training partner Yohan Blake at the Jamaican Olympic trials still fresh in the memory, questions on his fitness level have surfaced. Last month he travelled to Munich to see famed sports medicine doctor Dr Hans Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt for treatment. It is not the first time he has visited the German clinic. According to his agent, Ricky Simms, it was simply a matter of treating a tight hamstring which restricted his motion. As a precaution Bolt withdrew from Friday's Monaco Diamond League. "He is ready to go," Simms said last week.
The 6ft 5in sprinter has run 9.76 seconds this season between treatments, which is faster than he ran in the build-up to the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin where he ran 9.58 seconds to break his own world record. About the expectations, he merely shrugs his massive shoulders as if to say "what can I do?".
"Unfortunately, it is not possible to set a world record in every race," the 25-year- old apologises. "I wish it was, but track and field doesn't work like that. People like me to run fast but, for me, the important thing is winning races and peaking when it counts."
Bolt has been a frequent visitor to the medal podium ever since he won the world junior 200m title as a 15-year-old in 2002 in Kingston, Jamaica. And, despite the attempts of International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge to squash his growing image – Rogge objected to Bolt's celebratory "lightning bolt" pose antics – the Jamaican was the star of the Beijing Olympics. Along with the individual events he also ran the third leg on Jamaica's gold medal- winning relay team.
All three of those performances in the Bird's Nest stadium resulted in world records and cast the spotlight on him. At last athletics had a saviour. Indeed, his showmanship has since made him a hero to millions of children all over the world and he is one of the world's best known sportsmen.
At the 2009 World Championships he lowered his world records to the mind- numbing times of 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds. Fellow athletes cannot comprehend his ability. Wallace Spearmon, who earned the 200m bronze medal at that competition and is a good friend, has jokingly dubbed him "Insane Bolt" and predicts he can dip under 19 seconds in the longer distance. Even scientists have joined the dialogue, resurrecting the age- old discussion on the limits of human performance. Although 9.4 seconds has been bandied about for 100m, Bolt steers clear of predictions.
"I think I am in much better shape this year than last," he says. "I'm excited as I'm fit and injury free. I ran 9.76 in Rome into a headwind which is a good look. I don't really focus on times. I just try to run fast."
That performance in Rome was too fast for fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, the former world 100m record holder. A week later the pair met again in Oslo with the same outcome, though Bolt ran 9.79, and Powell improved his season's best to 9.85. At this juncture, Bolt has two of the year's three fastest times, but Blake leads with 9.75 set in winning the Jamaican trials.
If he didn't run another step, Bolt would retire as a sporting legend. The Puma athletic shoe company have made him their marquee athlete with his own line of shoes – they have also sponsored his former high school, William Knibb Memorial in Trelawny – but he seems to undervalue his own performance. Despite his extroverted behaviour, he lacks both the arrogance and the egotism of sprinters from bygone eras. Hours after he had smashed his own 100m record, as cleaners swept the stands of the Berlin Olympic stadium, the handful of journalists still toiling away were astonished to see the man himself down on the track. Egged on by some officials, Bolt playfully struck the "Karate Kid" pose and joined them in an impromptu photo session.
"I want to win more medals," he says when asked what is left for him to accomplish. "I want to become a legend. To do this I want to defend my titles successfully and then we will see what happens after. I also hope to be able to make an even more positive impact on track and field."
Bolt is aware that only Carl Lewis has successfully defended an Olympic 100m title and that was due to Ben Johnson's infamous disqualification at the 1988 Games in Seoul. A sprinter's reign is normally brief. To that end, he is grateful to his long-time coach Glenn Mills who has mentored him for the past eight years.
Among those who stand between him and his primary objective is Blake and the 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin of the US. The American ran 9.87 in Doha and on June 2 won the Pre Classic 100m in Eugene, Oregon, dipping under 10 seconds for the third time this season. He has boldly announced he doesn't race to finish second or third and does not fear Bolt.
"They [the Jamaicans] have always been impressive from 2007 until now," says Gatlin. "Going out there and seeing what they have done is not intimidating to me at all. If anything, it gives me the urge to go to practice the next day and work even harder."
In 2006 Gatlin beat the world 100m record with a time of 9.77 seconds but later failed a doping test – his second violation of track and field's anti-doping rules – and was suspended for four years. Unrepentant, he says he isn't going to London to finish second. The fact he is returning as a convicted drug cheat matters not to Bolt.
"I don't make the rules," Bolt says. "If they are eligible to run then I may as well get on with it and not stress."
Like most modern-day athletes Bolt has had to deal with suspicion, especially when Blake tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2009 and served a three month suspension. But Bolt accepts that the public has come to believe track and field athletes cheat.
"I don't know what else I can do to convince people I am clean. I get tested all the time," he says calmly. "It doesn't bother me. I understand why people question performances because of athletes in the past who have been on drugs and they just assume everybody is on drugs. It doesn't bother me. I think over the years, when we continue to run fast and they see you are not on drugs, then the questions will stop. So we are making it better for the athletes who are coming up and they won't question them."
IT was Blake who supplanted him as the world 100m champ-ion in Daegu last summer after Bolt did the unthinkable and false started in the final. The aftermath was difficult. A race he was supposed to win – and set another record in – went on without him. Though he was pleased for his team-mate, he was extremely disappointed with his disqual-ification. One wonders what the coach had to say afterwards. "He didn't really say much, just 'go and do a warm down and get ready for the 200m'," Bolt reveals. He makes no secret of the fact he has been working on relaxing more at the start.
After losing to Blake twice and thereafter retreating back into training, Bolt must be concerned about his form even though his feelings are not for public consumption. Does Blake worry him?
"I don't think about any single athlete – there will be seven other athletes in every race and I want to beat them all," he says.
Whether it is racing Prince Harry, adopting a cheetah in Kenya, giving sprinting advice to Manchester United players or crashing his BMW at sunrise as he did last month, Bolt is a celebrity constantly in the news.
"I have met many famous people over the last few years and it has been a great honour to meet them," Bolt says nonchalantly. "Ones that stand out are Cristiano Ronaldo and Kevin Garnett [of the NBA's Boston Celtics]. I have met them both a few times. I would like to play football when I retire from athletics. My dream would be to play one game for Manchester United, but I respect these guys and know it is not easy. I would like to play at some level, though."
Before then, however, the quest for medals continues. The public's appetite for world records also remains. So spare a thought for this young man as he tries to strike a delicate balance. We could all be satisfied at London 2012.