Bolt chides easily satisfied Jamaica youngsters

September 06, 2017
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, shared lens time with sprint legend Usain Bolt during a visit with members of Jamaica's track and field team at the IAAF World Championships in London.

Usain Bolt said his country's young athletes will have to step up now that he's gone. Jamaica won only one gold medal at this year's World Championships in London, a disappointing haul given its success in the last decade.

"The biggest thing with Jamaica now is if the youngsters want it," Bolt said. "Over the years, one thing I've learned is you have to want to be great. If you don't want to be great, it won't happen."

Of course, wanting to be great and doing what it takes to make it happen are two different things, too.

 

Not looking good

 

"I've noticed a lot of the young athletes. As soon as they get their first contract and start making money, they really just don't care as much anymore," Bolt said. "A lot of them are satisfied with getting their first contract, going out and making their first team. If they are satisfied with that, then we're in trouble.

"Hopefully, a few of these young guys are going to be hungry and want to be great and if we get those guys, we will be OK, but so far, it is not looking good."

The 31-year-old Bolt said he had good people around him from his earliest successes who were also there at the end, helping him make the most of his talent.

"My first two Olympics were easier; I was confident, I was young, I was enjoying the sport," he said. "But I think my last three years were the toughest years for me, because then, I had done so much, I found myself thinking 'Why am I still doing this? I've accomplished everything. I don't really need to prove anything else.' But the team that I had around me really helped me to push myself to set the bar so high."

As for the future, Bolt says he is interested in playing soccer and possibly settling down and getting married.

"Something I've always wanted to do is play football," said Bolt, a diehard Manchester United supporter. "My team is working on that, but we haven't confirmed anything yet!"

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