Sunday, 28 October 2012

BRAZILIAN TREATMENT: Usain Bolt receives key to Rio, talks football and retirement

FLASHING LIGHTS: With Rio Mayor Eduardo Raes, surrounded by photogs and members of the press corps.

Even as he sets his sights on garnering another three gold medals at the 2016 Olympics, sprint phenom Usain Bolt’s mind is never far from his other sporting passions like soccer – and his eventual retirement from athletics, the sport that made him a reigning global sensation. 

Speaking with reporters at a recent news conference in Rio de Janeiro (the host city of the upcoming Olympics), Bolt said he fancies his chances of starting up a football career after he retires from sprinting at age 30. “[After] Rio, I'll just retire and just try and see if I'm any good in soccer,” he stated, “but I think I'd be pretty good because I play with my friends. I've played charity matches in Jamaica. I think I'm pretty good.” 

Meanwhile, the sprinter’s trip to South America was not without its more lighthearted moments. He took time off from his PUMA-organized promo schedule in Rio on Tuesday to do some sightseeing around the city, kicking off his two-day trip by visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue situated in the Corcovado Mountains, before hopping aboard a helicopter for a tour over Copacabana Beach, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Maracana Stadium, currently being renovated for next year’s Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup. 

Bolt also visited a local athletics facility and met with young Brazilian athletes. He was also presented with the key to the City of Rio de Janeiro by Mayor Eduardo Paes, whom he “raced” during an exhibition at the Manuel Tubino Olympic Village. 

And when it comes to Usain Bolt, we’ve come to expect the unexpected, so it came as no surprise that he even found time to share a photo-op with Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner, who was in Brazil promoting the film’s final instalment, Breaking Dawn Part 2, due in cinemas in mid-November. 

Prior to Brazil, Bolt paid recent visits to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and New York City.

REST EASY: Vibing with friend and personal assistant Nugent Walker. Inset, a photo-op with Twilight star Taylor Lautner.

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