Bolt received the award on Saturday morning during a special awards ceremony by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) this morning. The world athletics governing body celebrated their 100th year of existence during that ceremony, which took place in Barcelona, Spain.
Bolt beat out Olympic 110m hurdles champion, Aries Merritt and Kenyan middle-distance runner, David Rudisha, who won the 800m title at London 2012.
Bolt’s World Male Athlete of the Year award caps off a highly successful 2012 for Bolt, who retained his 100m and 200m titles in London while anchoring Jamaica to a second straight 4 by 100m men’s relay medal, in which they broke their own record by 21 seconds. He became the second man to win back to back 100m titles (Carl Lewis) and the first to repeat as the 200m champion.
Meanwhile, the World Female Athlete of the Year award went to prominent American sprinter, Allyson Felix, who scored gold in the 200m for women. Felix also helped the United States’ 4 by 100m women’s relay team to record-shattering success during the summer games in London.
Felix eclipsed Olympic heptathlon champion, Jessica Ennis of Great Britain, as well as Olympic shot-put champion, Valerie Adams of New Zealand.