Usain Bolt Announces Retirement from Athletics Following Soccer Stint: My 'Sports Life Is Over'
Despite being unable to come to a contract agreement with Australia soccer club Central Coast Mariners, Usain Bolt called his trial run "a good experience"
Usain Bolt is moving on — and considering other ventures outside of athletics.
The eight-time Olympic gold medalist announced Monday that he’s “trying to be a businessman now” after his retirement from professional running and subsequent trial with Australian soccer club Central Coast Mariners, which ended in November after he and the team were unable to come to a contract agreement.
“I don’t want to say it wasn’t dealt with properly, but I think we went about it, not the way we should and you learn your lesson, you live and you learn,” Bolt, 32, told reporters Monday, according to Reuters.
Despite the departure — which came after eight weeks of playing with the club — Bolt added that his time on the team was “a good experience” and “fun while it lasted,” saying he “really enjoyed just being in a team and it was [much] different from track and field.”
“I’m just doing many different things … the sports life is over, so I’m now moving into different businesses,” he continued. “I have a lot of things in the pipeline, so as I say, I’m just dabbling in everything and trying to be a businessman now.”
The announcement comes just over a year and a half after Bolt — who took home gold at the Beijing, London and Rio Summer Olympics — ran his final race in his native Jamaica, winning the 100 meters at JN Racers Grand Prix at Kingston’s National Stadium in June 2017.
“This was special. There are no words,” Bolt said after the race, according to Jamaican publication The Gleaner. “I could not have done this without my parents, my friends, my best friend NJ.”
“I want to thank Jamaica, I never expected this,” he continued. “It’s big to see everybody turn out. It shows that they appreciated what I did and it was an honor for me.”
The BBC reported in July that Bolt was in negotiations to play in a six-week trial with the Central Coast Mariners, after which he’d be up to earn a full season’s contract if the team decided to sign him.
While speaking with the BBC, Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said the team — which operates out of the country’s A-League — had worked to land the Olympic legend over the months ahead of his trial.
“If he comes and he’s as good as our reports are saying that he can be, then that would be very exciting,” Mielekamp told the Associated Press. “I’m sure that this stadium would be pretty full every time he put the boots on.”