The Jamaican runner nabbed the award for the third time, even after one of his most trying years.
Jamaican runner and three-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt was named Athlete of the Year by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Saturday alongside Australian Sally Pearson.
This year’s award marks Bolt’s third win of the prestigious prize, but he says that given the challenges of the past year, this one means the most.
"This season was a really trying one for me, I really had to work hard and step up my game," Bolt told reporters. "There were some close races. I really had to push myself — there were some ups and downs throughout the season. For me this one (award) means a lot, I'm really proud of myself."
Bolt began the year suffering from a 2010 back injury that ended last year’s season early. Later, he was disqualified from the world 100 meters final for a false start. Despite the setbacks, he managed to anchor Jamaica to win the 4x100m relay, setting a new world record.
(Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images)