Sprinting superstar Usain Bolt said Thursday he is "definitely reconsidering" the plans he stated earlier in September of retiring after the 2016 Olympics.
According to Thursday's Associated Press report, the 27-year-old Bolt, a six-time Olympic gold medalist and the world record holder at 100 and 200 meters, said he might change his mind after listening more to his fans and sponsors. He said his coach believes he can continue competing at a high level, adding that it's now "on the cards" to compete for another year after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"I am definitely reconsidering. I think my fans especially have really voiced their concern about me retiring. They think I should carry on and so do my sponsors. I have discussed it with my coach and he says it is possible. We will see what happens. But it's on the cards that I will extend it by one more year."
With the new potential timeline, Bolt would possibly retire after the 2017 world championships in London. He's also thinking about running in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are not something he's considering at this point, in part because, he said, if he wins gold in Rio, he will have done everything he envisioned for his career:
"It's a long way away, but if I win the next Olympics I will have done everything I wanted to do in my career. So there would be no reason to continue."
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bolt won the 100, 200 and 4x100-meter relay. He then repeated the feat at last summer's London Games.
Bolt is currently in London to promote his autobiography, Faster Than Lightning. SI Archive: Classic photos of Usain Bolt