VIDEO: Usain Bolt Returns to Tracks for First Ever Race Since Retirement Ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 07/14/2021, 6:26 AM EDT
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 decided to call it on his illustrious running career after dominating the tracks at three consecutive Olympics, bagging 8 gold medals in the process. It’s been five years since the Jamaican retired after the 2017 World Championships and he hasn’t looked back to the tracks since. 

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However, he decided to make one exception and did actually put on his spikes again for a one-time race. Bolt returned to the tracks to run an 800m race as part of a promotion for CarMax. His opponent was a CarMax customer who although didn’t run along with him, got an instant offer on her mobile as he completed two laps of the track. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 17: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after competing in the Men’s 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

It was a take it or leave it deal and she had to accept the deal and go through with it by the time Bolt finished the race. The eight-time Olympic gold medallist himself had been training for it and fans were eager to see if he’s still got it. 

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Although most spectators expected him to make a speedy finish, Usain Bolt kept a constant relaxed pace throughout the event. Rather than making that quick acceleration we know he is capable of in the last 200m or 100m, he kept himself relaxed and finished the race at what to him would be a jogging pace. 

Usain Bolt lost to the CarMax customer by about 3 seconds

Bolt clocked in at 2 minutes and 40 seconds (unofficial) , which is a whole minute behind the world record of 1:40:91 set in 2012 by David Rudisha. He lost out to the CarMax customer, who availed of the offer just 3 seconds before he hit the finish line. 

“In my mind, I thought it would be easier. It’s not,” Bolt was quoted saying by olympics.com after the race. “Hats off to the 800m runner. But for me, I enjoy a challenge.”

Bolt did do some training to get back into a little bit of form before the run. He was ready to make the distance and did just that, but was a lot more exhausted than fans expected. 

“I did a lot of cardio,” Bolt said. “I think I needed to do a little bit more.” 

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Although he did technically make a return to the tracks, Bolt made it abundantly clear that he has no intention to return to professional running. “No, no this is a one-time thing,” he said when posed with the question. 

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Luke Dias

1476 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.

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