Jamaican sprinter and six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt plans to retire from competition after attempting to place his stamp of dominance on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Associated Press passed along comments from Bolt about the advanced decision. The international superstar stated he wants to step away from the track while still being able to compete at an unmatched level, as he has during the past two Games.
Bolt says "I think it will be a good time to retire, on top and just been dominating for so long."
After winning another three golds at the world championships in Moscow, Bolt will run his final race this season in the 100 at Friday's Van Damme Memorial.
Bolt says "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."
Of course, these remarks come almost three full years before the next Summer Olympics are set to take center stage. That leaves a lot of time for Bolt to reconsider his decision and alter his future plans depending on how he performs and feels.
Yet, it wouldn't be a complete surprise if he did walk away from competitive sprinting after headlining one last time in Rio.
According to the AP report, "Bolt says he wants to win gold in Rio, set another world record in the 200 meters next year, and perhaps win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games."
Bolt will be 30 years old in 2016. While his remarkable feats in the 2008 Olympics—including back-to-back gold medals in both the 100 and 200 meters, as well as numerous world records—are a tremendous accomplishment, eventually age becomes a factor.
Bolt's desire comes in to play, though, and he could likely remain in the mix looking toward 2020. Alas, that's only if he wanted to simply serve as a contender rather than a prohibitive favorite. He talks about wanting to go out on top.
Sports fans from around the world will want to soak in his greatness as much as possible over the next three years. Olympic dominance aside, perhaps his best performance was setting the world record in the 100 meters at a blistering 9.58 seconds in 2009.
It's unlikely he will ever reach those remarkable heights again. That said, every time he steps on the track is still a must-see spectacle.
If Bolt keeps to his new plan, the 2016 Summer Olympics just got its first major storyline.
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