What Was Usain Bolt’s Favorite Sport Growing Up?

Published 10/21/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 12: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after competing in the Men’s 4×100 Metres Relay heats during day nine of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 12, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for IAAF)


Usain Bolt is arguably the greatest sprinter of all-time. During a professional career spanning well over a decade, the Jamaican broke several records while achieving unprecedented success on the global stage. In fact, when one looks at his accomplishments, it may be hard to fathom that athletics wasn’t his favorite sport.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, that is the case with the 35-year-old. Although he eventually took up sprinting in school, it wasn’t his favorite sport initially.

What was Usain Bolt’s favorite sport in his childhood?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Born in the small town of Sherwood Content in Jamaica, Bolt grew up in an environment which encouraged sprinting. In fact, the Caribbean country has a structure in place which nurtures the best sprinters to compete on the global stage.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 16: Usain Bolt of Soccer Aid World XI walks on the pitch prior to the Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2019 match between England and the Soccer Aid World XI at Stamford Bridge on June 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Despite that, Bolt‘s favorite sport wasn’t athletics. In fact, it was cricket, a sport in which Jamaica also produced players like Chris Gayle. During a recent interview with the Guardian, Bolt revealed how his father’s interest in cricket drew his own. In addition, he admitted that his favorite cricket team was that of Pakistan’s.

He said“We were always playing football and cricket in the streets,” he says. “Cricket was my life, because that’s all my dad would watch. He was a massive West Indies fan, but I didn’t understand why I was supposed to support them just because I was from the West Indies, so I supported Pakistan.

“I was a massive fan of Waqar Younis (the youngest Pakistani Test captain in history). He was a fast bowler and really good at bowling yorkers.”

The Jamaican also spoke about his ability to bowl yorkers before his cricket coach gave him the advice which changed his life. “I was a fast bowler, too. One day, my cricket coach saw me and said: ‘Maybe you should try sprinting on the track as well.’ I did both for a while, but when I got to high school, I started focusing more on track and field because that was where my talent lay.”

DIVE DEEPER

What Was the Top Speed Olympic Legend Usain Bolt Could Hit in a Race?

2 months ago

Usain Bolt admits he still watches cricket matches

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Bolt admitted he still watches the 20-over format of the game, while admitting he could do with some batting practice.

BEIJING, CHINA – AUGUST 27: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning gold in the Men’s 200 metres final during day six of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 27, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

“I still watch 20/20s, but I’m not sure what people would think if they saw me bowling down the wicket at them,” said the 35-year-old. “I think I could still bowl, but my batting needs a lot more practice.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In his career, Bolt won a staggering eight Olympic gold medals. He still holds the world record in the men’s 100m and 200m events, which look likely to remain for quite some time.

WATCH STORY: A Day in the Life of 17-Year-Old Usain Bolt

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Sanket Nair

876 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT