Bolt suffered shock defeats to Jamaican team-mate Yohan Blake in both the 100m and the 200m at the Jamaican Trials.
But the 26-year-old bounced back in sensational fashion, pulling away from an outstanding field to win his second Olympic 100m title in 9.63.
Blake, the unwitting catalyst for Bolt's success, had to settle for silver and immediately promised the 200m would be his time to make a mark on the Olympics.
But Bolt now considers himself to be one triumph - one more successful Olympic title defence - away from achieving legendary sprint status.
'I've told Yohan Blake, I am not going to let him beat me again. I've said that to him already,' Bolt said.
'When Blake beat me in Jamaica that was a wake-up call. He (effectively) knocked on my door and said Usain: "This is an Olympic year, wake up".
'So I am grateful for that moment because after that I got my head together, got my head in the game.
'I was like "come on Usain, you gotta beat this guy". After the trials I sat down with my coach to figure out what is the problem.
'I think when you get to the top you're there, you know it's good, you're working and you're enjoying it and sometimes you lose sight because everybody is praising you, everybody says you are great.
'At the trials when Blake beat me twice it woke me up, it opened my eyes.'
Bolt, the world 200m champion, set the world record of 19.19 in 2009 but Blake posted the second fastest time ever of 19.25.
After winning silver in the 100m, Blake said: 'He is the fastest man in the world and I've got a silver medal. What more can I ask for? To be the second-fastest man in the world behind Bolt is an honour.'
But that is not something Blake will settle for in the 200m.
'I think the 200m will be interesting,' Blake said, flashing a smile.
Blake is also considering racing in the 4 x 400m Relay, should Jamaica reach the final.