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Bolt gives up football dream, eyes business ventures

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — With the idea of becoming a professional footballer appearing a pipe dream, Jamaica's retired track superstar Usain Bolt says he is placing greater emphasis on cultivating business ventures.

During a press conference on Monday, Bolt committed $1 million support to Special Olympics Jamaica ahead of their participation at the World Games in United Arab Emirates in March, only the latest in a string of charity work undertaken by his foundation.

“Sports life is over so I'm moving into different businesses,” the 32-year-old told journalists in reference to life since retiring in 2017.

Inevitably, the 100-metre (9.58 seconds) and 200m (19.19) world record holder was questioned whether he has given up the pursuit of transitioning to a football career — a move he often spoke about, even before his athletics retirement, but one that seemingly went down the drain for good last year.

Though not providing detail, he admitted that the process could have been managed differently.

“I don't want to say it wasn't dealt with properly, but I think we didn't go about it the way we should [have],” said Bolt, widely accepted as the greatest ever sprinter.

“We learned a lesson — you live and you learn, but for me it was a good experience. I really enjoyed it, just being in a team. It was much, much different from track and field,” he added.

Bolt had trained with multiple football clubs, with German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund the biggest among them. His greatest opportunity came with Australia's A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners.

But that deal failed, with the multiple Olympic Games champion reportedly turning down the Mariners' contract offer.

The Mariners had announced that, despite having been in discussions with potential commercial partners to help fund the deal, the club and Bolt had agreed one would not be struck.

Sanjay Myers

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