When Jamaican track phenom, Usain Bolt, debuted his world record-setting run times during the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, he inspired a whole new generation of young runners... including Rudolph "Blaze the Great" Ingram, Jr. The seven-year-old Tampa, Florida athlete has been dubbed the "fastest kid in the world" after running an impressive 100-meter race in just 13.48 seconds, inching up very close to Bolt's current world record of 9.58 seconds for the same race. He also broke USA Track and field records for his age group.
Blaze's father, Rudolph Sr. shared in an interview with ABC News that young Blaze has been running since the tender age of four years old. After watching the Olympic Games and various documentaries, including Bolt’s, Blaze became inspired to begin to train and do exactly what he watched.
"He watched the Usain Bolt documentary, he has seen a lot of those people's documentaries and he realizes that they were doing the same thing that [he] was doing at that age. So [he] could see where this would lead to," said Rudolph Sr.
After LeBron James posted a video of Blaze on Instagram completing an impressive run across a football field masterfully leaving his opposing team members in the dust, his Instagram page (ran by his father) began to get a lot more followers. But, like James, Blaze is more than athlete. He's also on his school's honor roll.
Blaze has competed in the past two Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Championships and won 36 medals, including 20 gold. He’s also a football standout having played both running back and safety positions for the Tampa Ravens, where he was one of the youngest players on the team. During one season, he managed to score a total of 10 touchdowns. Coach Jimmy Watson shared in an interview with Youth1.com, “At safety, it’s unbelievable how he can make plays in the backfield. At running back, he’s very fast but even more elusive. The kid has vision like I’ve never seen in a six-year-old before. One second he’s going one way and then you blink and he’s going another way.”
According to USA Track and Field, Blaze’s most recent 100-meter race record of 13.48 seconds shattered the previous world record of 13.67 seconds set by a seven-year-old. He currently desires to become a professional football player. His father describes him as competitive yet humble and certainly continues to be in awe of his own child. "I don’t like saying it, but I feel like he’s a one in a million child. I don’t like saying it because he’s my child but I definitely feel like he does great things."
Keep your eye on Blaze via Instagram and follow his continued growth and accomplishments.