'There won't be anyone else like me again'

Sprint legend Usain Bolt speaking at the Global Transformation Forum in Malaysia. Photo: GTF

Track and field legend Usain Bolt was recently at the Global Transformation Forum 2017 in Malaysia where he electrified an audience of some 3,000 with an inspiring tale of how a cricket-loving Jamaican boy became a sprinter who blazed across the finishing line at a World Record of 9.58s for the 100m in Berlin in 2009. Bolt did not shy away from questions, saying that he hopes that someone surpasses his feats someday while adding that there would never be another person quite like him. The following are the excerpts from the interview: 

Question (Q): How has Jamaica produced so many Olympics champions like you? How come other countries like Malaysia could not do it?

Usain Bolt (UB): I think it's all about what sports you pay attention to over the years. When you started off, you used to pay a lot of attention on football. Football's big. Then, I think over time [as] track and field got bigger and then more focus on track and field. I definitely think what sports you focus on the most [is where] you produce more athletes. I think as Malaysia focuses more on track and field and over time, Malaysia will start to produce more athletes.

Q: What's the most inspiring thing you can tell people who want to be like you?

UB: It's determination, you know, and to enjoy what you do. Always enjoy what you do. Just work hard and to be honest, it's not an easy role. It's never easy but just be determined and focused and work towards your vision.

Q: Do you think there's anyone who can beat Usain Bolt?

UB: I definitely want to say no (laughs). But like my Ma says, anything's possible. You never know who's going to show up next. For me, personally, I didn't want it to go but hopefully, for the sport, it will.

Q: You've revitalised interest in the track and field? Do you feel that there'll be someone like you again?

UB: Oh, there won't be anyone like me, that's for sure. But I think the possibility of athletes stepping up, there's a possibility. But like I said, it's about how much they want it, as much as I wanted it. Because I really wanted it. So, the question is do they want to be as great as me or even greater than me.

Q: I read that you said you wanted to try for Manchester United.

UB: Yeah, I'd love to. That's something I love. Hopefully, I'll get to work something out.

Q: How soon can we see you on the (football) field?

UB: I'm going to get a trial run with Borussia Dortmund. I've been invited to spend a couple of days and train with them. So from there, then we'll decide if I'm at that level or if I want to take it on from there. Personally, I want to but we'll see how it goes.

Q: Would you have done something out of sports if you haven't been a runner?

UB: I was always into sports, I think, from the start. My Dad got me into cricket, then got me into running. So, for me, all I knew when I was growing up was sports.

Q: Would you consider a career in politics [after retirement]?

UB: No. I'm not very good at politics.

Q: How can you not get carried away by the wealth and the money you've won?

UB: I just work for what I want. I just have a simple life. All I like to do is to party. That's who I am. I'm just a simple person who really enjoys life and work for what I want.

Q: Is there anything we can do to convince you to stay for the next Olympics?

UB: (laughs) There's nothing left. It's too far. Maybe in the next two years, I'll say four more years.

Q: Are you bored with the sport?

UB: Yes, the motivation is not there. I enjoy watching [the] sport. [It's] not because I don't like the sport, [it's] because I've done what I've wanted. This was my aim - to win [at] the three Olympics and I've achieved the ultimate aim. So, I need to find something fresh and new that I really want.


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