The 29-year-old is only the second person after Bolt to run under 9.7 seconds, but his career has been hampered by injury problems.
He failed to make the final at Beijing 2008 after his preparation was hit by a hamstring problem.
'For me this Olympics is really special,' said the former world champion.
'To come here and compete for a medal really means a lot after I came up short in 2008.
'There is a lot of pressure for me, I am not going to lie.
'There would still be pressure if I did get a medal in 2008, but it's a lot more now because I really feel the missing piece of my heart is an Olympic medal.
I really feel the missing piece of my heart is an Olympic medalTyson Gay
'I have a lot of driving force coming into these Games. I am fully focused on leaving with a medal.'
Long-standing injuries have certainly been the key factor in Gay - who has run 9.69 and 9.71 - struggling to challenge the dominance of Bolt.
He has not won a major global medal since taking World Championships silver in 2009, while he missed almost the whole of last season with a hip injury - a time he described as the toughest of his career.
He is back after a year out running 9.86 this year, though, and insists he is confident in his fitness.
But how his body holds up over three races in two days remains to be seen.
'My confidence is pretty good,' he added.
'I have been having consistent treatment, getting my hip work and leg work done. So I think my confidence in my body is getting a lot better.
'I am not worried about it too much. I think I will be fit, I just have to execute my first race without using too much energy and then follow up in the next two rounds.
'It's tough, but at this stage it's about coming home with a medal.'