• London Olympics 2012

Bolt: I'll break record then declare myself a legend

ESPN staff
June 3, 2012
Usain Bolt describes his Olympic dream

Usain Bolt has vividly described his London 2012 dream, and it involves running a world record followed by telling the gathered media: "I am a living legend".

Bolt ran the fastest 100m time of the year in Rome on Thursday, with a marker of 9.76s a clear indicator that he is beginning to near world record-breaking form. If his plan comes together, that will happen in London this summer.

In a frank interview, Bolt made no attempt to play down the importance of London 2012, naming it the most important Games he will ever contest due to its location.

The Jamaican has been tipped to run 9.4 seconds in the 100m, and to become the first man to go under 19 seconds in the 200m. Both are achievable in the eyes of Bolt, and if he lives up to expectations, he knows exactly how he will react.

"People talk about me running 9.4 or 18. I'm at about 80 per cent now so I'll go home, work on my technique, work on my strengths and get to 100%. Then maybe those times are possible," Bolt said.

"I want to be a legend, and this Olympics is the one to make it. It's London, it's central, it's where everybody is watching. London, New York, Dubai... those are the cities where people take notice. It's important that London is the place where I stamp my name on history.

"Then, at the end of my days, I can say I am a legend.

"It's the one thing I'm looking forward to saying when I walk into the press conference after the 200m, if everything has gone as planned, before they ask me the first question, I'm looking forward to saying: 'You're looking at a living legend'.

Bolt appeared to acknowledge the fact that he may go into decline after the London event, with a recent disappointing run in Ostrava - when he failed to go under 10 seconds - put down to a lack of sleep. Bolt admits that is a clear sign his body is changing.

"I wouldn't say I'm getting more fatigued, I'm just getting older and I don't have the energy I once had. I used to be able to stay up all night and then go and run. Now it's not the same, I need enough rest."

Bolt's preparations will be key to his chances in London but he will not shun the Olympic Village in order to avoid disturbances. To the contrary, he insists the Village is crucial to his plans.

"People who stay outside the Olympic Village are weird. Why wouldn't you want to stay with your friends, your team-mates, and laugh and play dominoes? Why not chat and motivate each other?

"There's so much to do in the Village, and it keeps you closer to your team-mates and you learn things. For me, staying with team-mates is always the way to go because it's a team sport - you're competing for your country."

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