Usain Bolt: Why Jamaican Sprinter Must Return in 2016

Thomas AttalCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2012

Usain Bolt
Usain BoltClive Brunskill/Getty Images

Usain Bolt just won the 100m and 200m at the Olympics. As if that feat wasn't amazing enough, he also defended the titles he had won in those categories four years ago. It may seem like there isn't anywhere else he can go or anything more he can accomplish, but the truth is Bolt can't be finished. He has no choice but to return for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 

What's great about track is that all events are timed, so you know exactly how good the race you just watched is historically. What's great about Usain Bolt is that he's about so much more than the time he clocks. The man puts on a show like no other, but more importantly he always seems to win with ease. That is what makes him amazing. When Bolt won the 100m in 2008, he was pumping his chest and celebrating while everyone else was scrambling to catch up. He set the world record in that race. In fact, he owns the World Record and Olympic Record in both the 100m and 200m, yet it never seems like he has gone his absolute fastest. Usain Bolt is a man that is very aware of his legacy, and in order for his legacy to be complete he needs to show the world the very best he can do before he retires. He needs to sprint from start to finish on the biggest stage. In order to avoid any doubt in the future as to whether he's the greatest sprinter ever, he has no choice but to return in Rio, retain his titles and show the world a time it won't believe.

Speaking of doubters, they are not only going to be surrounding Bolt once he retires and the next big thing comes along. There were plenty of doubters coming into these games who believed that Yohan Blake was the new fastest man in the world and would take both the 100m and the 200m. Bolt's performance in London put those doubts to rest for the time being, but the next time he loses they are sure to rise again. People will say that Bolt is too arrogant, and that if he had run in Carl Lewis' time, Lewis would have crushed him. If Bolt becomes the first man ever to win three consecutive gold medals in the 100m, and simultaneously becomes the first man to win the 200m three times in a row, there will be no doubters left. 

Usain Bolt is a champion, and he wants to be remembered as the greatest ever. He will only be 29 come 2016 (Carl Lewis participated in the Olympics until he was 35) and won't be able to resist placing himself as the undisputed fastest man ever to grace this planet. He has already put forth a legendary and unbelievable performance, but if he returns in 2016, he will have the chance the complete a mythic performance. If he doesn't want to hear about unfulfilled potential for the rest of his life, he has to do just that.