by Jodee Brown
Arguably the greatest sprinter in history, Usain Bolt has left an indelible mark on the sport with his talent, charisma, and a plethora of records along the way. The summer of 2016 will be the last chance for the world to see the Jamaican legend showcase his unique skill set.
On Wednesday morning, Bolt announced that he is set to retire following the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil. The six-time Olympic gold medalist and reigning world champion in the 100m and 200m signaled his intent to win gold at next year’sCommonwealth Games in Glasgow, the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing and the 2016 summer games before calling it quits from a spotlight that has shone on him since he made waves as a teenager.
“So far, it [retirement] is after the Olympics in Rio,”Bolt told the Associated Press ahead of his final race of the season in Belgium. “I think if I am in great shape, I’ll go there and do what I have to do. I think it will be a good time to retire on top.”
He continued, “If I want to be among the greats of [Muhammad] Ali and Pele and all these guys, I have to continue dominating until I retire.”
Bolt’s track record is impeccable as the now 27-year-old sprinter became the only man in Olympic history to win back to back gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4 by 100m relay respectively. After winning gold in all three events in last month’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow, he became the most decorated runner in the event’s history, with eight gold and two silver medals.
He owns the world records in the 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19), both which he broke in the 2009 world championships in Germany while helping the 4 by 100m relay shatter its own world record at last year’s summer games in London.
Before he goes out, Bolt hopes to top those marks once again, admitting that while the 100m remains the toughest mark to top, the 200m record is well within reach.
“I have learned, I have mastered the art of running the turn,” Bolt said of the 200. “So if I can stay injury-free and be in good shape, then it is possible for me to definitely go after the world record.”