Usain Bolt: “I want to be among the greats of Ali and Pele”
by Lexter Woodley
photography by Melanie Mrakovcic
location: Sheraton hotel, Brussels, Belgium
There’s no rush when he enters the room. The fastest man alive takes his time to be seated, but seems more than ready to answer questions.
Right from the beginning he talks about his fans: “Because the fans come out, they want to see the best of you. So for me I come here to run as fast as possible, to give them a good show. Just to show my appreciation for the fact that they come out to see me.”
But with that being said, it doesn’t mean that Usain’s motivation is high all the time. On a slight motivation problem he faced recently he shared that he had to make up his mind: “If I want to be among the greats of Ali and Pele, and all these guys, I have to continue dominating until I retire.”
I asked him to take us on a journey through his mind. What does he tell himself before he competes on the running track? “I would always be introduced, so I’ll be just having fun with the crowd, try to get the energy up, because I enjoy competing in front of an energetic crowd. So for me it’s always great to just be among these people, it helps me to relax, the energy is loud and it’s fun for me. And then all I have to do is just be focused on the race.”
“Most of the times, the last thing I try to say to myself is: try and get a good start. Because the hardest part of my race is trying to get a good start.”
Usain plans on retiring after the Olympics of 2016. I wanted to know how his life would look like after retirement. “We’re working out some things to figure out what would be the best thing to do after I retire.” But since he never tries to see cities due to his busy schedules, he also pictures himself traveling the world after the end of his career.
Before he hangs his shoes up, we’ll probably see how he continued ruling on the running track and we’d make his wish come true… put Usain Bolt among the greats.