Usain Bolt, The Fastest Man Alive, has been to the Olympics twice, but until yesterday, he had never held an Olympic press conference. Unsurprisingly, as with everything in the Olympics, Bolt slayed at conferencing too. If it was part of the games he would have taken gold, silver, and bronze and broken all the records with his appearance yesterday. He had to book the Cicada des Arts, which is literally the biggest venue in South America, just to hold all the press that wanted to attend. We’ve never seen anything like it.
He was funny and charming–if not a little cocky–and answered basic questions from international media while looking pretty laid back. The question period was pretty casual, swapping the traditional table and mic stand for just a bench. The whole event was basically a Usain-lovefest, as even the reporters seemed to be starstruck by the runner. One Norwegian journalist even performed a freestyle rap about his love for Bolt, instead of asking a question.
Who should be more embarrassed? The journalist fanboy who rapped or the other journalist fanboys who clapped? pic.twitter.com/SvleRtbw5G
— Cillian O Conchuir (@killeroc) August 8, 2016
And we all should have expected an epic finish to an already great press conference. To finish the whole thing off, a troupe of Brazilian dancers, complete with live music, came out and did a Samba with Bolt to whisk him away to whatever epic thing he was doing next.
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) August 9, 2016
‘I’m definitely a sprinter first but I like to entertain… These guys [the press] they like when I do crazy stuff.’ Bolt had told the crowd earlier. And boy did he deliver.
So what did he even talk about at this thing? Basically, what we can take away from the conference is that Bolt has some big goals this time around. At both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics, Bolt took home gold in the 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay. He’s looking to complete a ‘triple triple’ (three golds in three consecutive Olympics) and would like to beat the 200m record (which he currently holds anyway).
When asked about the doping scandals of late, he preferred not to speak directly to that. He spoke for himself though, telling the group, ‘I go out there to compete, to wow the crowd and entertain. I don’t worry about that [performance enhancing drugs].’
He also confirmed that this will be his last games, which we only sort of believe. Remember when Michael Phelps ‘retired’ after London 2012?
If this really is the end of Usain Bolt at the Olympics, he’s doing a pretty good job of going out with a bang. Check out his first appearance at Brazil 2016 in Saturday’s 100m preliminaries.