He is very disappointed, but a relaxed Usain Bolt struck a philosophical note when asked in Jamaica about the loss of the 2008 Olympic Games relay gold medal as a result of a retroactive, positive, drug test finding for teammate, Nesta Carter.
“I am disappointed based on losing a medal, but it won’t take away from what I have done throughout my career, because I have won my individual events and that’s the key thing,” Bolt, considered the greatest sprinter of all time and world record holder over 100m and 200m, told journalists.
He, along with Olympic legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce arrived by separate helicopters in Santa Cruz to mark the formal handover of $1 million in gym equipment to the St Elizabeth Technical High School by telecom giant, Digicel. A similar event took place earlier in the day at Edwin Allen High in northern Clarendon.
Bolt told journalists he had already handed back the withdrawn gold medal to the authorities, which leaves him with eight Olympic Gold medals — two in 2008 and three each in 2012 and 2016.
I am not fully happy about the situation but rules are rules,” said Bolt.
He noted that Carter and Jamaica’s track authorities will appeal the adverse finding against Carter.
“We have to sit and see how that works out,” he said.
Bolt, who has repeatedly said 2017 will be his last in competitive track athletics, laughed off and rejected suggestions he could consider extending his career because of the recent setback.
“For me I have done what I wanted in the sport; I’ve broken world records, I’ve won individual medals, I’ve continued to dominate, so losing one medal, although it seems really bad … is just one of those things. It’s not going to detract from what I’ve done down the years,” he said.
While conceding that the term “triple-triple”, used to describe his three gold medals in each of three Olympics dating back to 2008, had “a nice ring to it”, Bolt argued that he had to move on with life.
“What can you do?” he asked. “I’ve done all I wanted in the sport, I have really impacted the sport, I’ve really accomplished a lot. So for me, I can’t complain,” he added.
He emphasized that his priority was to avoid distractions in order to train properly in the coming months.
“Right now I am just listening, I can’t be distracted. This is my last season and I want to go out on a winning note,” he said.
Bolt, who said he will leave for engagements in Australia next week, said his immediate plans surrounds “just training” to get ready for competition.
Bolt said he had not yet spoken to Carter since news of the lost gold medal, but stressed that there was “no bad blood” between them.
Asked what he will say to Carter when they do get a chance to speak, Bolt said: “I don’t know. You know, I never thought about it. It must be so hard on him also, so for me it’s just to have a normal conversation.”
A contemplative Bolt suggested Carter would need plenty of emotional support.
“I know it must be very hard, must be rough on him. I know how social media can be and I know how Jamaica is. So hopefully there is some love [being shown towards Carter]. It’s rough. Things happen in life for reasons no one knows. I hope he doesn’t take it to heart,” Bolt said.