Usain Bolt Is Retiring From Sprinting To Tackle An Entirely New Challenge: His Personal Life
If you already know you're the fastest person in the world, and you have multiple Olympic medals to back that title up, what do you really have left to prove to anyone? That's the logic I'm assuming everyone's favorite sprinter was using when Usain Bolt announced he will retire after next year. He's already bested every obstacle that crossed his path in the running world, so now it's time to take on an entirely new challenge — his personal life. After all, Bolt racked up his final three gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4x100-meter relay — I imagine that things must just be getting a little stale for him, considering those are the three events he's dominated ever since his Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008. No one has ever even been able to touch the Jamaican athlete, so I would understand if the most-decorated sprinter of all time had gotten bored of constantly leaving his competitors in the dust. As Bolt told CNN in advance of this year's Games:
I'm going to win the 100 meters. I never try to predict times, I avoid that because you never know. I'll win all three gold [medals], there's never anything else for me when it comes to a championship.
"There's never anything else for me." Those are tough words to hear in a field where so many are spurred on to greater feats by trying to stay ahead of their competitors. Bolt and Katie Ledecky should start a support group for Olympic athletes who claim victories without competition. So without that added motivation, and after 12 years of Olympic glory, I'm not surprised to see Bolt telling People that he will retire after 2017.
"I'll miss being in front of the crowd. I have mixed feelings, I certainly won't miss training, though. I'll be happy to get past that."
What he'll apparently focus on instead is marriage and fatherhood, albeit further down the line. (In the short term, he tells People he has plans for a sports medicine clinic that he's hoping to open in Jamaica.) He claims he and his girlfriend Kasi Bennett "just got really serious," although they are "taking it one step at a time", and he isn't ready for that next step right this minute.
In time it will come. Now I'm thinking about my career and getting everything right for the future. I definitely want a family, though. For me, over the years, I've waited because I want to make sure it's the right person.
He'll have plenty of time now to figure that out, and if there's one thing I've learned about Usain Bolt, it's that he can't abide second place. Because of that, I have no doubt that he won't attempt marriage or fatherhood until he's ready. I'm betting he's excited to tackle brand new obstacles and be challenged in a way he hasn't felt out there on the track in a long time.