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Usain Bolt Reconsidering Stance on Retiring After 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 18:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Men's 4x100 metres final during Day Nine of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 18, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2013

Apparently sprinting isn't the only thing Usain Bolt does at a high rate of speed. Less than three weeks after announcing he was planning to retire after the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, he's already having second thoughts about the decision.

SportsCenter passed along a comment from the Jamaican superstar, who states the fans' reaction to his planned exit is making him think again.

In announcing his intentions less than a month ago, Bolt said he wanted to retire on top. He thought he could maintain elite form heading into the next summer Games and then walk away from the sport before his amazing skills began to fade, the Associated Press reported, via USNews.com.

"So far, (it) is after the Olympics in Rio," Bolt said of his retirement plans. "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."

"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 said ahead of his final race this season in the 100 at Friday's Van Damme Memorial.

Quite simply, his apparent change of heart doesn't come as a major shock. Making that type of decision three years out from the Olympics left plenty of time for his the reverse course—he just did it quicker than expected.  

The two-time defending 100-meter and 200-meter Olympic champion has emerged as one of the most exciting athletes in the history of the Games. When he's heading to the blocks, people from around the globe are tuning in to see something special.

More often than not, he has delivered. He has six Olympic gold medals and numerous more from other competitions, including the World Championships.

Putting the decision to retire under reconsideration doesn't mean he's definitely staying beyond 2016, but fans will be happy to know he's at least keeping an open mind moving forward. How he performs between now and the trip to Rio de Janeiro will likely determine his final choice.

In the meantime, Bolt will continue to travel the world, probably dominating plenty of more sprints in the process. Someday, his unmatched abilities will begin to slip away, but he's still in a class of his own for the time being.

That's why his supporters wanted him to reconsider. They got their wish.

 

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