Dad-to-Be Usain Bolt Says He 'Won't Push' His Child to Run Track: 'There Is So Much Pressure'

Usain Bolt is expecting his first child with longtime girlfriend Kasi Bennett

Usain Bolt will be more than happy if his future child does not follow in his Olympic footsteps.

The retired Olympian — who is currently expecting his first child with longtime girlfriend Kasi Bennett — recently told PEOPLE that he’s in favor of their baby on the way not pursuing track and field.

“People always say, ‘Are you going to put your kids in sports?’ ” Bolt, 33, said at the Bolt24 By Gatorade pop-up studio in Miami during Super Bowl weekend. “But for me, if they want to be in sports, fine, I don’t really care. But, I won’t push them to do track and field. I think it’s going to be hard.”

“I think it’s the hardest thing when you have a dad that is a superstar in a supersport, I don’t think you should do that sport,” Bolt added. “I think you should do something else because there is so much pressure on you to live up to expectations.”

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The nine-time gold medalist admitted that he is “more nervous” than Bennett, 30, to become a first-time parent. “My girlfriend is really excited, she’s excited to be pregnant, and I’m like, ‘What am I going to do, I’m about to be a dad.’ You know? I’m that guy.”

Bolt also said that he anticipates being a dad will be much harder than conquering the Olympics.

“The good thing about it is that I have a lot of experience with my friends’ kids and my aunts’ kids and stuff like that, so I kind of understand but I’ve never had a kid 24/7,” he said. “You know what I mean? This is 24/7, so it’s going to be challenging but I’m so excited.”

Kasi Bennett and Usain Bolt
Kasi Bennett and Usain Bolt. Shutterstock

Bolt announced Jan. 23 that the couple is expecting with a breathtaking photo of Bennett on the beach dressed in a billowing red dress that showed off her baby bump.

“I just want to say a KING or QUEEN is about to be HERE. @kasi.b,” he captioned the stunning photo by Lexon Photography.

Bennett also shared the news on her own social media, sharing a series of three posts with additional photos from her red dress maternity shoot. Each photo was consecutively captioned, “Our biggest blessing..,” “Our greatest celebration…,” and finally, “Our golden child ❤️ Coming soon…”

The pair, who are both originally from Jamaica, have been dating for nearly seven years. In 2017, Bolt told PEOPLE that they were ready to start a family together.

“I have [had] a girlfriend for four years now [and] it’s going steadily, so we’re thinking about kids very soon,” he said at the time. “We’ll see how it goes, we’re taking our time.”

The couple became more serious following Bolt’s retirement in 2016, right after he took home his ninth consecutive Olympic gold medal in Rio. When Bolt announced the retirement news, he told PEOPLE that he planned to dedicate more of his time to his relationship with Bennett.

“She’s happy, I’m happy!” Bolt said of his relationship. “We just got really serious, we are taking it one step at a time.”

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