TOP SHAPE: "These are the Olympics that separate me from the pack," the world record-holder says.
For the third time in his illustrious track-and-field career, Usain Bolt is gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated. In the interview, which touches on everything from injuries and gold medals to Rio 2016 and retirement, the 29-year-old Jamaican speedster and World’s Fastest Man reunites with prolific scribe Tim Layden, who has interviewed Bolt five times since they first met in 2008. This time around, they had a lot to catch up on. Here are some of TALLAWAH’s favourite quotes from the piece:
On whether his mind ‘strays’ during training: “All the time. I think about victories. I think about world records. The other day I was running 110s, and then I was warming down all by myself. In Rio, should I run the 100 metres just to win, and save my energy for the 200 metres? I really want to break that world record again. If I shut it down in the 100, will people be happy? I don’t know. But that’s the kind of thing I think about all the time.”
On his staying power: “Sometimes I question myself: Why am I still doing this? I’ve accomplished so much in the sport. You know what I mean? I still want to accomplish more, but it gets harder over time. I talked to Michael Johnson once about this, how you shouldn’t stick around for too long. The more you race, the more you tear your body down. I’ve been telling people for years that I’m a lazy person, and I don’t think they believe me. But I really am. I don’t like training.”
On the challenges of the 2015 season: “It was just really stressful, man. In June, I wasn’t running the way I’m supposed to be running, and Gatlin was in the form of his life….. But once I do a couple of 180-150-100 step-downs at proper speed, I know I’m in shape.”
On what makes the Rio Games special: “These are the Olympics that separate me from the pack. I’m older now, and it’s harder for me. But anytime I start feeling down, I remind myself, ‘You have got to get this done this year.’”
On retiring from athletics: “What do I think about for my retirement? I just think about not doing track anymore. You know what I mean? I want to live comfortably when I retire.”
> To check out the full interview, go to the Sports Illustrated webpage.