Usain Bolt vs Cheetah: Who Would Win?

Written by August Croft
Published: March 17, 2022
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Olympic athletes are recognized as some of the fiercest competitors in the world. But who would win in a race between Usain Bolt vs cheetah? Cheetahs are well known as some of the fastest animals in the animal kingdom, but Usain Bolt is renowned for his speed and agility. If it came down to it, which of these high-speed runners would take gold?

In this article, we will compare and contrast Usain Bolt’s fantastic sprinting ability with that of a cheetah. Can Usain Bolt outrun a cheetah in a competition? Or will the cheetah reign supreme? Let’s imagine this amazing race together and try to determine who might win. Let’s get started now!

Usain Bolt vs Cheetah: Comparing Their Speed

usain bolt vs cheetah

Cheetahs frequently reach speeds of 70 miles per hour.

©Maros Bauer/

When it comes to a competition between Usain Bolt vs cheetah, it may not seem like much of a challenge. Cheetahs frequently reach speeds of 70 miles per hour, while Usain Bolt cracked 27 miles per hour during his time as an Olympic competitor. This doesn’t seem like much of a competition at first glance, or even upon second glance.

However, cheetahs run at this top speed in incredibly short bursts, typically less than 30 seconds at a time. Usain Bolt runs similarly, well known for his ability to sprint over very short distances. While his 100m and 200m runs broke world records, this distance is much shorter than even the shortest distance of a sprinting cheetah.

In terms of speed alone, the cheetah reigns supreme. However, there’s no denying how impressive Bolt’s speed is compared to the average human! Running 100m in less than ten seconds is a feat few ever accomplish. However, cheetahs beat Usain Bolt when it comes to speed, hands down.

Usain Bolt vs Cheetah: Who Has More Endurance?

usain bolt vs cheetah

Usain Bolt’s longest distance is much shorter than even the shortest distance of a sprinting cheetah.

©Petr Toman/

While both Usain Bolt and cheetahs are notorious sprinters, which of these two competitors has more endurance? Cheetahs reach their top speeds of 60-70 miles per hour in less than three seconds on average, and Usain Bolt has similar statistics, save his top speed ending at 15-25 miles per hour. But what about speed over a long distance?

Given that cheetahs only run in quick bursts and average 1,000 feet before needing a rest, their endurance isn’t very impressive overall. However, the same could be said for Usain Bolt. His competitive races are never very lengthy, and he is known for his sprinting rather than any type of distance running.

Given that humans have adapted to be some of the most accomplished endurance runners on the planet, animals included, it could be assumed that Usain Bolt would outrun a cheetah in a long distance or endurance competition. However, given that endurance and long distances are not his specialty at the moment, he’d definitely need to train up to beat a cheetah in terms of a distance competition.

Usain Bolt vs Cheetah: Comparing Their Strides

usain bolt vs cheetah

A cheetah’s stride is far more impressive than Usain Bolt’s.

©Elana Erasmus/

Part of a runner’s ability and speed lies in the strength of their stride. When it comes to cheetahs and Usain Bolt, there’s little competition. Cheetahs have flexible spines and fantastic adaptations in terms of the number of strides versus their speed. They frequently cover anywhere from 20-30 feet in a single stride.

Given Usain Bolt’s limited physical capabilities in this matter, his average stride isn’t as impressive as the stride of a cheetah. However, Bolt’s legs are uneven, and he has adapted his stride accordingly. He averages 41 strides in a 100m dash. Most competitors average anywhere from 43-48 strides per 100m.

Even with this impressive feat in mind, the cheetah still beats out Bolt in stride. However, knowing that Usain Bolt has uneven legs, a rarity in professional sprinters, his strides are extremely impressive!

Usain Bolt vs Cheetah: Agility Matters

Cheetahs run in quick bursts and average 1,000 feet before needing a rest.

©Malene Thyssen / Creative Commons

Given that speed and endurance go hand in hand, how does Usain Bolt’s agility compare to that of a cheetah? Unfortunately, this is looking like another loss for Usain Bolt. Cheetahs are incredibly agile, capable of turning on a dime and adjusting their speed in a single stride. But how does Usain Bolt’s agility compare?

Given that the majority of Bolt’s training happens in a relatively controlled environment and he simply runs straight ahead, he likely doesn’t have the same adaptive abilities as a cheetah. Cheetahs are incredible in terms of their agility and maneuverability, something that many people overlook or underestimate. 

Cheetahs reach speeds that rival cars. They also run over rough terrain and go through difficult hunting situations. Usain Bolt doesn’t have to worry about chasing anything unpredictable over great distances. A cheetah contends with this daily. This means that they are far more equipped than Usain Bolt and would win in a competition of agility.

Who Would Win a Race Between Usain Bolt and a Cheetah?

A cheetah is 45 miles per hour faster than Usain Bolt.

©JonathanC Photography/

While the answer may not surprise you, Usain Bolt is no match for a cheetah in terms of speed and agility. However, with adequate training, Usain Bolt may have enough endurance to beat a cheetah in an endurance or long-distance competition. Even this seems unlikely, given what the average cheetah goes through just to survive. They are impeccable athletes of the animal world, and Usain Bolt would likely agree!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Eric Isselee/

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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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