With three decades of life and three Olympic Games now under his belt, Usain Bolt prepares to walk away from the track. But before he does, he has advice for those who wish to take his place as the world’s best competing sprinter. He wants track athletes to show some personality and steer clear of being perceived as boring.
While Bolt has had a great run of it (literally), winning eight gold medals at three different Olympic Games, he’s now ready for retirement. He just wants to make sure that the next round athletes who gather to out-sprint each other don’t rely on just their speed in order to grow a fan base. If athletes want the sport to stay interesting, he says, they have to show their personality during those big meets.
This is something that he is reported to have told the big names currently in the game, as The Straits Times reports.
“I’ve said to a few athletes that I know personally, ‘You guys need to show your personality, not just performance. Listen to me, I’m not trying to say you should try and do weird things, but people want to see personality and something different,” he said to the news site. He thinks that way too often, track athletes stay quiet, and don’t show off their quirks or sense of humour.
Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse is likely to be the next sprinter to win both the audience’s favour as well as the gold medals at world class events. For those who watched De Grasse and Bolt go head-to-head last year in Rio, the young runner from Ontario certainly did not come off bland. Actually, the entertainment value of the sprinting events in Rio went well beyond just the blazing-fast times both athletes were able to produce. Between Bolt and De Grasse’s “bromance” on the track and quirky one-liners from pre and post race interviews, they became the stars of the track.
That just illustrates Bolt’s point more so.
In the same news report, he said that he pointed out to De Grasse that he gained more fans from showing off his fun side. Don’t believe it? Check out some of their best bromance moments here.
Bolt is absolutely one to practice what he preaches. The track icon has been spotted singing Kings of Leon in lederhosen at Oktoberfest. He also once called in to a TV show and the host had no idea it was actually him. Oh… and there was also that time he got involved in a rap battle.