“I Could Have Won Gold in Athens”- Usain Bolt Looks Back on the Biggest Loss of His Olympics Career

Published 07/09/2021, 11:22 AM EDT
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 20: Gold medalist Usain Bolt of Jamaica stands on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 4 x 100 meter Relay on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


Usain Bolt was undoubtedly the fastest runner in the world in his heyday and dominated the tracks for nearly 15 years. The world records he set for the 100m and 200m sprints stand to this day and no one has come close to breaking them. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Over his glorious career, he collected eight Olympic gold medals. Participating in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016 editions, Bolt was the golden boy in every event he participated in. Collecting the medal haul from his victories in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay events, he managed to establish his dominion over the tracks. 

BEIJING – AUGUST 20: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men’s 200m Final ahead of Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe and Shawn Crawford of the United States at the National Stadium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

However, looking back on it all, one thing continues to irk the Jamaican. This would be none other than the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Then just 18 years old, Bolt was aiming to make the world know his name, sadly crashed out in the heats due to an injury. The campaign was a total failure and Bolt feels that he was entirely to blame for it. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“In 2003 I was running faster than almost everybody,” he said, speaking to The Guardian. “If I had run in the world championships that year I would have probably medalled. And if I’d continued on that road, I would have run 19 seconds earlier in my career, so for sure I could have won gold in Athens if I’d dedicated myself more.”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Usain Bolt of Jamaica points to the sky before winning the Men’s 100 meter final on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Usain Bolt claims he was too distracted in his youth

Usain Bolt believes that as a younger athlete, he was distracted by other things and didn’t give the tracks enough focus. If he had, he believes there would definitely be more gold in his showcase.

“But it was tough for me because even in high school I was famous. Everyone knew who I was in Jamaica. And I didn’t have somebody who had already been through it to say: ‘You have to take this seriously, because this is what you could do.’ It was just my coach telling me to train hard,” he explained.

The Jamaican already revealed that the biggest regret of his career was not getting serious earlier. Athens 2004, although difficult, would have been a surefire success according to him had he prepared with the same mainframe as he did for the later stages of his career.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“That’s why I try to talk to the younger athletes now and explain to them ‘get serious early man’. Because the possibilities are endless,” he said.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 18: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the Men’s 200m Final on Day 13 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Needless to say, Usain Bolt was fast and also believes he could have been faster had he used the ‘super shoes’ available to athletes today. When it comes to the tracks, he is still regarded as the fastest of them all. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Usain Bolt Wants a Collaboration With Drake, Jay Z, and DJ Khaled

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Luke Dias

1473 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories