For nearly the last 10 years Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt has reigned as the ‘Fastest Man’ in the world and most dominating force to be reckoned with in Track & Field. He’s captivated the world and after his regular appearances at the Olympics in 2008 (Beijing), 2012 (London), and 2016 (Rio) he’s undoubtedly won it all. Bolt holds three gold medals in each event: the men’s 100 meter, men’s 200 meter and the men’s 4-by-100 meter relay with a grand total of nine medals! These days he’s reflecting over the span of his career; after all the World Championship Titles and broken records is there still more to accomplish?
The chill and laid back 6’5 sprinter took some time out to uncover his personal thoughts on his journey to Complex magazine during his visit to Puma in New York City.
Has it reached the point, do the Olympics to you feel part of your routine now? Every four years, here it is?
For me, I always try to take it a year at a time. That’s what my coach tells me to look at in my career. Never try to look way ahead because then you start overlooking things or not taking things too seriously. You know what I mean? He says take it a year at a time. Work. Work on that. Don’t think about Olympics before it comes because you have to go to the World Championships. Because we are trying to build a legacy every year.
This year I kind of struggled for motivation. Because I’ve done everything and I asked myself one time in the season “Why am I doing this?” That’s the first time I’ve ever asked myself that because I love the sport.
Watching your races, a race that lasts less than 10 seconds, yours seems to have parts to it. You can get out a little slow and you still catch up. Does it feel like a lot of time?
[Laughs.] No. It’s just how I am, it’s just how I run. It’s just how I’ve run over the years. I’ve always started off really slow because I’m bad at my start. But every now and then I get a good one, you know what I mean? But majority of the time I’m always in the back—at the start.
Do you feel like you would be faster if someone was pushing you?
I think every season they kind of keep me on my toes because most of the season I’m injured. I have to work to come back but I think these guys are doing a good job. I think the first couple years it as much much easier because I was younger, I wasn’t getting as injured. But now down in my latter years, it kind of got harder because I started getting injured and I had to work hard to get back.
Have you changed up your training regimen because of that?
No my coach always says never change. Never change what’s not broken. You might have a few things, but we never try to change the routine.
What’s one part of your routine that you really don’t like?
Background training, when we just start back. It feels like you’ve never done track in your entire life. After like a month off, you start back, you feel like you’re just starting track again. For the first three weeks, you’re just dying. It’s always just pain. So for me that’s the one part I really dislike.
After the way 2016 went, would you rule out 2020?
Definitely. No man, I can’t go. This year I kind of struggled for motivation. Because I’ve done everything and I asked myself one time in the season “Why am I doing this?” That’s the first time I’ve ever asked myself that because I love the sport and it’s horrible, one day I was in training and it was tough. And after I finished training, I asked myself “Why I doing this? I’ve done it.” For me, when I kind of woke up. I couldn’t believe I actually questioned myself like that. So I knew, this is it. I need to really stop if I’m reaching to the stage where I’m questioning myself if I really need this.
Have you reached all your goals?
Yeah, pretty much. The only thing that I wanted to do, which I knew would be hard anyway, was to run sub-19. That’s the only thing I haven’t accomplished. But it’s not like I don’t have the world record so it doesn’t really bother me that much.
When I was coming to this sport and watching Michael Johnson, all I wanted to do was be a 200-meter champion. Cause all I ran was 200 meters, that’s all I wanted to be. Then to now be Olympic champion nine times and to be a world record holder and to be a 12-time world champion. You know what I mean? It’s just something when you sit back and reminisce and think about you’re like “Yo, I’ve outdone myself.” People always say to me, “You don’t really know who you are, or what you’ve done.” Because I’m a simple person, I try to keep it simple. But sometimes when I go to certain places and meet superstars and the way they react to me, it kind of shows me what I’ve done has really made an impact.
For part II and Usain’s interview with Complex in it’s entirety check it out here.