It is not the fact of Usain Bolt's victories that defines his greatness; those victories are a given (though only in mythology, not in reality, because he does occasionally lose, just not on the biggest stages when the most people are watching). He has transcended the scoreboard and the stopwatch.
Bolt's races are not competitions -- they are performances that must be witnessed and shared and felt, historical moments of emotional -- almost spiritual -- resonance. As many a cold-blooded journalist uttered on the first Sunday in August in London: I'm going to see Bolt tonight. Not the 100 meters. Not the signature athletic event of the entire Games. Not the eight fastest runners in the world, lined up across the track, with a gold medal at stake. Just Bolt. Surely millions of fans felt precisely the same way; organizers could have filled the Olympic Stadium 100 times on the night of the 100-meter final.