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Usain Bolt: Coaching "is a matter of time” thanks to daughter Olimpia

Usain Bolt sat down for a chat with Naomi Campbell about the Olympics, being a father, Jamaica, Bob Marley, and how a new coaching career is on the horizon.
By Ken Browne

Imagine having Usain Bolt in your corner as a coach.

That may become a reality for some lucky athletes as the eight-time Olympic athletics champion says that becoming a father has convinced him that coaching is "just a matter of time."

Bolt made the revelation to supermodel Naomi Campbell on her show ‘No Filter with Naomi’ to talk about what it’s like being the fastest man in history, Jamaica, life after sport, and his football career.

Coach Usain Bolt? “Just a matter of time”

"It's something that we have talked about, but I'm not really into coaching that much, because I have no patience, you know," Bolt said with a smile after Campbell suggested he open a 'Usain Bolt School'.

But becoming a father to baby girl Olympia with long-term partner Kasi Bennett has changed him.

“Now that I've had my daughter, I've got more patience now and I’m just being more relaxed. So now I'm actually thinking maybe I could be a coach and it's just a matter of time.

“So we'll see what happens in the future. If I if I decide to start something, then maybe I'll start a club or, as you said, a school to teach.”

Usain Bolt record

No-one has dominated the track the way Bolt dominated the track: He holds the 100m, 200m and 4x100m records in both the Olympics and World Championships.

Among Bolt’s records are the current men's 100m world record of 9.58 seconds, which he set in 2009.

“It's great,” said Bolt laughing, “there's no words to explain the feeling, I mean, but it's always good.”

“No matter what you say, I'm the fastest man in the world.” – Usain Bolt

“It's always good to make fun of people, especially meeting different sports people. We went to the combine in the NFL and the guys, they always talk […] there. They're always like, yo, I can take you, so it's always fun.

“I mean, no matter what you say, I'm the fastest man in the world. So if you want defeat, let's go! You know what I mean?”

“I always tell people that you should always do what you enjoy,” Bolt says.

“Because if you do what you enjoy, it's not work, it's just a lot of fun. And I enjoy going out there and entertaining people, enjoying myself, competing, I enjoy all of it. So for me it wasn't a job.

"Yes, training was the hardest time, but most of the time I'm having a great time.”

Does he miss running?

“Sometimes when I watch competition, like I might watch a few races, I might miss it. And especially I think it was 2019 when the guys didn't do so well at the World Championships, I was like, ah, I should have been there, you know.

“I mean, so that time I missed it.

“But any time I go to the track to look for my coach and I see the training that they are doing I'm like, nah I don't miss it that much!”

The lightning Bolt: ‘To the world pose’

On that iconic pose that’s recognised worldwide, Bolt said this:

“It actually was a dance in Jamaica that we always do. And me and some of my friends we were talking because they wanted me to dance at the Olympics, they were like yo, you should dance, you should dance after you win. And I'm like, yo, I don't know.

“And we were just spit-balling and talking about the Olympics, you know? And I decided to dance and I was like, you know what, I'm going to do this pose, and I kind of put my own spin on it, and that's how it came out.

“I danced and people loved it at the Olympics, and I did the pose and people love that also. So it was a win-win!”

Usain Bolt’s favourite Olympics

After three straight Olympics that glittered with gold, could Usain pick a favourite?

“Competing in London was always one of my best because there's so much Jamaicans in London,” the sprint legend says.

“So for me, anytime I compete in London, it's always like being in Jamaica and the energy, just the vibes and the noise. It's always just wonderful. And I always loved it in London.

“For me, my best Olympics was in 2012, just the energy that they came out with to support not just Jamaica.”

Usain Bolt and Bob Marley: From Jamaica with love

When talking about people who influenced him Bolt mentions his favourite footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, boxer Muhammed Ali, and of course, Bob Marley.

“I remember when I was 15," Bolt says, "I went to Hungary for the first time as a youth. And we went to this concert in the park. And most of these people did not speak English... And the guy on stage was singing Bob Marley and everybody was singing.

“And for me, because I was just travelling, to see something like that blew my mind, you know, I mean to know somewhere that people don't speak a lot of English, but they know his songs, and they were singing it loud and clear...

“It was it was magnificent to know how far Bob Marley had put Jamaica on the map.”

Usain Bolt and football: How he’d do it in Europe if he did it again

In March 2021 Bolt told Jamaican radio station Irie FM that moving to Australia to train with the Central Coast Mariners was a ‘mistake’.

After the 2017 World Athletics Championships, he trained with clubs in South Africa, Norway, and Germany before deciding to give it a crack in the A-League down under.

Bolt believed he could make it as a football pro, but despite some promising early signs – like the two goals he scored on his debut for the Mariners – he decided to retire from “all sport” in 2019.

So why did he choose Australia?

“My thought process was… Because of who I am, I knew the media was going to be all over it. And that's going to cause a lot of pressure and stress. And they're going to be just watching me every day. I thought I needed to get away from the media. 

“I mean, the best place to do football was in Europe. But I wanted to get away from the media and go somewhere where it's hard to reach me.

“It was it was fun to be a part of the team. It didn't work out as planned. If I had to do it over though, I would do it, do it in Europe, because I think it would have been better.

“I think if I was in Europe, I’d have to work a lot more harder than I actually did in Australia.

“I would have a lot more support and people around me to really help and to make sure I was on the right track and stuff. But for me, just experiencing it was very good. So I really enjoyed that.”

Usain Bolt's music career

Bolt is also getting more into music.

"I mean, I produce the good stuff,” he says, “I find the talent and I work with the talent. When I was running, I used to do like the after parties, after the meet I usually play… I play there just for fun.

"But now I don't really do as much or leaning towards being a DJ, trying to find the talent. Trying to find and put good music together and let's put it out there, you know?"

So what’s next for the fastest man in history?

“For me right now, because of the pandemic, really, I'm just spending time with the little one, as much time as I possibly can. And I mean, I haven't had any big revelation like, ‘I want to do this’.

"I'm just waiting and watching and just enjoying it because I know when the world opens up I know I'm going to be all over the place.”

Finished?

Bolt is hardly getting started.