Politics to Puma, Bolt considers his options

Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:22pm EDT
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By Scott Malone

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - As he blazed through the Rio Games, winning an historic third batch of three sprint gold medals, Jamaica's Usain Bolt was clear this is his last time on the Olympic track, where he feels he has nothing left to prove.

Bolt, the most famous Jamaican since Bob Marley, has repeatedly declined to say what he will do after he hangs up his spikes. Unlike the reggae great, who died of cancer at 36, Bolt has the option of planning his next career move.

With his 30th birthday on Sunday, Bolt should have a long second career ahead of him and a lot of people, from his sponsor Puma to Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, want a say in his plans.

"It's important to use the fame and the achievement of Usain Bolt for the benefit of Jamaica. It does open doors," Holness told the BBC during a brief visit to Rio on Monday.

Holness said he would have a seat in his cabinet ready for Bolt's 1.96 meter (6'5") frame, if the athlete would accept.

"Usain Bolt could be minister of anything he wants," he said.

Bolt would be far from the first Olympian to make the jump into politics.

Former New York Knicks player Bill Bradley, a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic team, served 18 years in the U.S. Senate after retiring from competition.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Men's 4 x 100m Relay Final - Olympic Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 19/08/2016. Usain Bolt (JAM) of Jamaica gestures after the Jamaica team won the gold. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson