Whenever Usain Bolt watches athletics competitions he feels the urge to return to the sport he dominated for a decade, but that longing quickly dissipates once he reminds himself of “all the training” he would have to undergo to compete at the highest level.
The eight-time Olympic champion, who was a guest at the Marca Sport Weekend on Friday (November 13) from his home in Jamaica, confessed that around a year and a half ago he discussed the possibility of a comeback with his coach.
“We sat down and actually spoke a little bit about coming back, maybe for the Olympics. But my coach was like he knows I’m not going to be serious. He said ‘you could talk about it but I know you are not going to be that serious because you hate training so I know you are not going to do it’,” the Jamaican recalled.
Bolt retired from track and field three years ago but has kept his place as the fastest man in history with his 100m world record of 9.58 seconds still seemingly beyond reach.
Although he believes the 100m and 200m events are “in good hands” with the likes of Noah Lyles doing “pretty well”, Bolt does not expect his 11-year-old records – including 19.19 seconds over 200m – to fall anytime soon.
“I think no one will get to my records yet,” he said. “I don’t think the person is there yet to break my records.
“The level that took me to my records was a long way and a lot of hard work. I think my physical attributes, the fact that I’m tall, really helped. It’s going to take a while before somebody actually gets there.”
Following his retirement from athletics in 2017, Bolt had a brief stint in football and trained with clubs in Europe and Africa before giving up on his football dream in Australia. In hindsight, he thinks he would have done “much better” if he had stayed in Europe.
“My thought was going to Australia, far from the media, far from everybody, that it would help me, less stress and pressure. But it didn’t work out as planned.
“I feel like if I had stayed in Europe, I would have gotten a lot more help and a lot more push and it (his football career) would have been a little bit longer and more successful.”
When asked who he thinks is faster right now, between him and Cristiano Ronaldo – who is still active, “For sure Cristiano,” Bolt replied emphatically.
“He works out every day, for me he’s a super athlete. He’s always on top of his game, he works out, he’s focused. Right now, I think he would be faster than me.”
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Jamaican Ministry of Health announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 in August, Bolt said: “I’m fine. Even during the whole Covid thing I felt great but you have to follow the rules. They said I had to quarantine for two weeks so I did just that, but overall, I’m good.”
The good thing about the pandemic period for him is being able to spend time with his girlfriend and baby. His daughter Olympia Lightning Bolt was born on May 17.