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Could Usain Bolt be planning an Olympic comeback in 2021?

The world's fastest man recently hinted that there may be one reason he would consider making a return to racing

Usain Bolt Photo by: Team Jamaica

In a recent interview with VarietyUsain Bolt said he doesn’t have any plans to come out of retirement, but he would consider it if his longtime coach, Glen Mills, asked him to. “If my coach came back and told me, ‘Let’s do this,’ I will because I believe so much in my coach,” he said. “If he says, ‘We’re gonna do this,’ I know it’s possible.” We know it’s unlikely that this will happen, and even if Mills did approach Bolt and ask about a comeback, the world’s fastest man still might not go through with it. But in a time when there’s so much bad news in the world, it’s nice to get away from that and take a few moments to ask, “What if?” 

Keeping fit 

After retiring from track in 2017, Bolt shifted his focus to a career in professional soccer. He played in a few friendly professional matches, and he even managed to get a couple of offers from teams in Malta and Australia. He ultimately didn’t sign with either of these clubs, and he called it quits in 2019. Still, he has kept fit during his retirement.

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In addition to his time on the soccer pitch, he put his fitness on display at the Super Bowl in 2019, where he ran a 40-yard dash, a classic test in the NFL Combine. Bolt was wearing sweatpants and tennis shoes for his run, but he still tied the NFL record for the test, covering the distance in 4.22 seconds. We’re not saying his stint in professional soccer or his run at the Super Bowl will translate back into success on the pro track scene, but it can’t be denied that he still has some speed. 

Bolt vs. everybody 

If Bolt did come back and he made a legitimate push for Olympic qualification and the podium, he would have to take on the next generation of sprinters. He’s already raced against Canadian Andre De Grasse (who could forget their bromance from the Rio Olympics in 2016?), but since Bolt’s retirement, 200m world champion Noah Lyles of the U.S. has burst onto the scene.

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In 2019, Lyles beat two of Bolt’s Diamond League meet records, and he looks to be progressing toward bigger and better results with every run. In fact, at the Inspiration Games in early July, the world thought Lyles had set a new 200m world record with a time of 18.91 seconds, although it turned out that he had only run 185m. Even though Bolt’s time of 19.19 is safe for the time being, at just 22 years old, Lyles is still a threat to break his record. If Bolt comes back, it could make for a lot of great racing.


Busy retirement 

The chances that Bolt actually does come out of retirement for the Tokyo Games are probably pretty slim. After all, he hasn’t raced in three years, and by the time the Olympics roll around next summer he’ll be nearly 35. Plus, he and his girlfriend, Kasi Bennett, have officially started a family after the birth of their first child, a baby girl the couple named Olympia Lightning Bolt. He’s probably way too busy to revamp his sprinting career. Even though it’s unlikely that we’ll see a Bolt comeback, we can always dream. 

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