The viral image of the smiling Jamaican as he approached the line of his 100-meter semifinal in Rio 2016 encapsulated the joy he brought to athletics every time he entered the track.
Bolt’s list of accomplishments in the sport is almost as big as his passing. There are eight Olympic golds, making him also the first sprinter in history to win gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters in three consecutive Games: 11 World Championship golds and 100, 200 relay world records and 4×100 m that no athlete has as they approach to play.
Now 34 years old and retired from athletics since 2017, Bolt has had time to reflect on a remarkable career. However, of his many accolades, one stands out far above the rest for the Jamaican.
“It will always be the [Olympic] gold medals, “without a doubt, Bolt tells CNN Sport.” I think that’s what really marked my authority in the sport, you know what I mean, I demonstrated my mastery over the years.
“Yes, I’m very proud to be the fastest man in the world, but it takes a lot to do three consecutive Olympics and win them, so for me I’m very proud of my gold medals.”
Bolt says he doesn’t care if his records end up breaking with the help of this technology, rather than pure physical dexterity.
“The fact that everyone knows why, then it doesn’t bother me,” he explains. “Like I said, I’m happy to be the fastest man in the world, but it was always the gold medals that mattered to me because that’s how you prove yourself, you know what I mean.
“There are so many people who could say,‘ I’m a former world marketer, ’but there aren’t a lot of people who can say,‘ I’ve won, well, just me, three Olympic gold medals back to back. ‘
“That’s why, for me, that’s why I put so much effort into mastering, because I know that at any moment someone can break your record and then, if you do so much, what’s left for you?”
A winning bet
He may have broken world records and won numerous gold medals, but that didn’t stop Bolt from indulging in his love of fast food.
In his 2013 autobiography “Faster than Lightning,” Bolt estimates that he ate 1,000 McDonald’s chicken cucumbers during his 10 days in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. Surprisingly, those 5,000 calories and 300 grams of fat a day on they won three gold medals and three world records.
Around the same time, Bolt bet with coach Glen Mills and agent Ricky Sims, who were both firm about the athlete’s desire for fast food, which meant he would develop “a big gut” after two years after retirement.
To his disappointment, Bolt still maintains his lean athletic physique three and a half years after retiring. So have Mills and Sims paid?
“No!” River. “We had a way back and forth because they said,‘ Oh, that [the bet] it was three years. I said, “No, it’s two!” So he came and went and then we said they forgot about him because they didn’t want to pay after two years, because they’re like, “Oh, I’m still in shape.” So they were not happy! “
Like the rest of us, athletes want to eat guilty. However, as with everything, it’s about eating in moderation, especially when you no longer train for hours every day.
“For me, you learn and understand that exercising is very, very important, even walking just to stay healthy, you know what I mean,” he says.
“Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about weight and only about nutrition, so I understand the steps I need to take to make sure I’m healthy. I have a family and I want to make sure I’m on to see. ‘ ls, you know that “.
Life after athletics
Bolt’s life looks very different now than it did four years ago.
In May, he became a father for the first time after his partner Kasi Bennett gave birth to a baby girl, who was aptly named Olympia Lightning Bolt.
Most of his day is spent with Olympia and Kasi, before finding time to do a workout to “keep the weight off”.
Bolt says he has also worked hard with post-race efforts, including working with new sponsors.
While some athletes struggle to accept retirement, Bolt really enjoys his.
The build-up to Tokyo 2020 is nothing like what it has experienced for nearly two decades: it is the first Lightning Bolt not to compete since the 2000 Sydney Games, but there will be no desire to get back there on the track again. .
“I’m definitely excited to just be in the stands,” he says. “I’ve never had a chance to really watch the Olympics [watch] swimming, football or just to watch all the events. So I’m excited to have the opportunity to experience the Olympics really like a real fan. “
Since Bolt moved away from athletics, the sport has been trying to find the next generation of athletes to carry the torch. Unfortunately, as it did with other sports around the round, the coronavirus pandemic reduced the athletic season and eventually forced the postponement of the Tokyo Games until 2021.
Given the impact of the delayed agenda on most athletes, Bolt believes it’s fair to allow them a prolonged period of preparation before loading them with the sport’s next main lights.
“You know, I would usually always say who I think, but now I just sit and watch,” he says. “Especially after the pandemic, a lot of people have spent the season without having a chance to compete even once.
“So now that the fact is starting, I’ll just see how the season goes and then I can say,‘ You know what, this person looks serious. They kept fit during the pandemic. ‘ So we just have to sit back and watch what happens. “
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