Five Questions With Usain Bolt
The world’s fastest man Usain Bolt’s love for music is well documented. One remembers Bolt’s first Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 when songs like Elephant Man’s Gully Creepa and Nuh Linga motivated him to swiftly show off the dances with each sweep to victory. “Music, in general, is something I have loved over the years,” the retired track star told The Gleaner in a recent interview at the Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records in the Marketplace on Constant Spring Road, St Andrew. Bolt said he believes in the importance of spreading Jamaica’s culture, no matter the platform.
He managed to create history in more than one way in track and field and landed several endorsement deals, including Puma and Gatorade, throughout his career that he still holds to date. Bolt retired from the track after the 2017 World Championships in August of that year, but has not stopped sprinting, even if now it’s more in the field of business. In 2018, he was ranked at 45 for highest-earning athlete according to Forbes, but he’s bashful about numbers. Ask Bolt about his earnings or financial status, and he’ll most likely answer with a smile or play it off with laughter. The one thing he is extremely serious about is turning that passion for music into profits – which he is laying the groundwork for – a musical empire that will also set records. “Right now, we are promoting the Clockwork Riddim, and Cham’s track Lock Down featured on the rhythm and just getting the word out there,” Bolt said.
From radio, television, newspapers and social media to podcasts, Bolt and his A-Team Lifestyle have not taken a break. He also has his hands full on the home front. Last month on Father’s Day, Bolt and his significant other, Kasi Bennett, surprised the world when the two announced the new additions to their family – twin boys – Thunder and Saint Leo, making him now a father of three. In this week’s Five Questions With, Bolt tells us how he manages three under three and how he feels about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Will you be taking a trip to Tokyo to see the Olympic Games in the flesh?
As a team, we want to, but we have been trying to figure out ways, looking into it and seeing how we can make it happen – nothing’s confirmed.
How did you feel hearing that some athletes who have been preparing to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been testing positive for COVID-19?
For me, it was a mixture of feelings. I was so happy to hear that they would go ahead with the Olympics this year because after sitting out a year, it was rough on all the athletes. And even though this is tough, it shows that the protocols put in place over there are working. At least they are catching these things now, making it easier for the future, although, at the same time, it is sad that some won’t get to compete; still, rules are rules.
You may not be tearing up the track in Tokyo, but in Jamaica, you’re turning out tracks in the music industry, as an executive producer on your own label. Adding this new responsibility to an already long list, including the birth of your twins, how have you been balancing or plan to balance your career?
It’s been good. I am, we are, getting a lot of help, especially from Kasi’s family as they are in Kingston. Right now, I am just enjoying every moment, and I am happy with the arrival of our twins and our daughter, who is all over the place and running around and making it even more exciting.
What type of father are you striving to be?
I definitely want to be like my father. My father was very strict in raising us – very old school, all about manners and respect, and the type of patriarch that said home to school to home. Of course, I’ll adjust a few things in the way I raise my children. I want to explain things to my children, nowadays you have to explain everything to the youngsters, this is bad and why it is bad, and educate them on what’s going on in the world.
Are you planning to continue raising your children in Jamaica?
I have thought about the options, and I do have a plan in my mind. Always thinking traditional high schools, and then if they want to go away for college or stay, I will support them. Remember, it’s not me alone, I’ll speak to my partner and hear what she thinks about what, and we make the decision together.