Mission accomplished: Usain Bolt enjoys his Olympic swansong as he says he has done all he can do
The Jamaican insists Rio is his last Games as he bows out with nine gold medals after sealing the ‘triple-triple’
Usain Bolt literally danced in to his post-race press conference, his tunes blaring.
Why not? It was his last chance to speak to a packed room hanging on his every word after having created Olympics history – an experience he’s got used to over the last eight years.
Bolt, 30 on Sunday, insists Rio was his last Games. He bows out with nine gold medals, having sealed the ‘triple-triple’ of 100, 200 and 4x100-metre relay wins at three consecutive Olympics.
WATCH: golden moments on Day 14 at the Rio Olympics
He raised a three-finger sign in acknowledgement as the MC announced his unprecedented feat. There were 11 other men on the dais – his three teammates, silver medallists Japan and bronze medallists Canada – but for all the attention they got at the 1am conference, they might as well have skipped it for an early night.
“Nothing is impossible,” he said, reflecting on his medal haul. “I never set limits for myself, I’ve always wanted to push the barriers and that’s what I did. I pushed the barriers and accomplished what I wanted to do. There’s nothing else I can do, just push on and enjoy what I can do.”
The Olympics and athletics, so long swimming in a cesspool of corruption and doping, now has to do without the man who at regular intervals redeems it almost single-handedly. He may race in the next World Championships, but Tokyo 2020 and the quadruple-triple does not seem to be on the agenda. He said he leaves the sport in good shape, saying: “The only way is up now, the IAAF and Wada are doing a job cleaning things up ... we have to put the bad times behind us and move on.”
And Bolt too must move on. He said he was relieved his golden career was over, and spoke of being an ambassador for his country.
“I’ll have to make a new bucket list now – I’ve already accomplished what I wanted to in track and field so I’ll just have to make new goals and a new bucket list. Right now I’m just happy and want to go on vacation and relax.
“Beyond sport I’m a great ambassador, I try to live up to my country’s need and always tried to push my country on top and always tried to be the best ambassador for my country ... and I’ll continue to do that.
“I knew it was going to be done [his Olympic career], I just have mixed feelings now. It’s a relief, I’ve been having all this pressure over the years to come to the Olympics and win three gold medals back-to-back. I’ll definitely miss the sport and the Olympics, it’s the biggest stage for athletes, but I’ve done all I can do, I’ve proven to the world that I’m the best in the world and it’s mission accomplished.”