RIO DE JANEIRO – Usain Bolt, the world record-holder at 100 and 200 meters, said Tuesday he likes his chances at starting up a football career after he retires from athletics after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
“I would love to play,” Bolt said. “I’ve played football. I’ve played charity matches. Something I really want to try.”
“And after Rio, I’ll just retire and just try and see if I’m any good in soccer, 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.”
If he does make a leap onto the pitch, his signature “lightning Bolt” stance could serve as a stellar goal celebration move.
After winning Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008 and London this past August, Bolt will try to “three-peat” at Rio in the 100, 200 and with the Jamaican 4x100m relay.
Bolt, a Manchester United supporter, had looked at the long jump for Rio but wants to ease the punishment on his knees.
“The plan was the long jump maybe before the Olympics but I’ve talked to my coach (Glen Mills) and he showed a little concern about the fact long jumps always create problems for the knees,” Bolt said.
“We are going to sit down and re-evaluate if we really want to do it as I might prejudice my opportunity to come to Rio so I might not do the long jump.”
Even Bolt at age 26 must fight to keep Father Time at bay for four more years.
“Depends on how I manage these four years,” Bolt said. “I’m thinking that if I do my time, try not to work too hard… I can work over those four years.
“It should be OK. I’m not really worried.”