Less than three years after he retired following an outstanding career in track and field, sprint legend Usain Bolt has admitted he contemplated coming out of retirement.
The Jamaican Olympian told CNN Sport’s Coy Wire during an interview that there were times when he missed competing.
“I talked to my track coach and he was like, ‘No, you’re not doing it,” Bolt revealed during the interview.
He said his coach, the highly-rated Glen Mills of Racers Track Club, told him that it does not always work out.
“People that retire and come back — it doesn’t always work out,” Bolt said of the advice he received from Mills.
Despite the temptation and, or indecision that have made many former great athletes stay way beyond the point when they should have called it quits, Bolt said he had no such problem.
“For me, at the end, I knew it was time because the drive wasn’t there,” he said.
Yet, he admitted to what many athletes before him have faced.
“…Every time I watch track and field I miss it. And every time I go to the track to see my coach and I watch him training I go, ‘Did I make the right decision?’ … But every time I train with them I think, ‘Ah yeah I made the right decision. I don’t miss this.’
Bolt is the most decorated male sprinter in the history of track and field. He has multiple Olympic and World Championship medals as well as world records. He starred at three successive Olympics and multiple World Championships from 2008 to 2017 when he retired.
There was some amount of disappointment when he limped off the track after he pulled up while running the anchor leg of the 4×100 m relay, his last competitive race at the 2017 World Championships.
Having retired, Bolt will settle for a spot on the sidelines at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
In particular, Bolt is looking forward to watching the action in the pool.
“I’m going to go and watch, I’m excited for the first time to sit and watch it and see the energy of people,” Bolt said.
He added: “I’ve seen track and field throughout my life, I’ve always watched track and field and I always know what’s going on with track and field. But I didn’t see Michael Phelps swim live.
“For me, it’s an opportunity to go and see these other swimmers and see something else.
“The only thing I got to see once was when I went to the Commonwealth Games and I went to watch netball. But I’ve always wanted to go and watch swimming live … track and field, I love it, but this is what I really want to watch.”
Bolt continued: “I live for competition. When I used to compete, I felt that if no one’s running fast I’m not going to be happy.
“I wanted to go out there with the best, I wanted to line up with the best because I enjoy proving that I’m the best and to know that I’ve worked hard and it’s paying off.”