Track and field legend Usain Bolt is expressing support for U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who has faced much scrutiny in recent months since being suspended from the Tokyo Olympics due to marijuana use. Bolt spoke up for the sprinter when he sat down for an interview with REVOLT.
“You will have failures throughout your career, it’s just one of those things,” the retired runner said. “In my first Olympics in Athens, I didn’t make it outside the first round. So, it’s just about being determined and pushing yourself, and just believing that you can do it, and just go and do your best.”
Bolt said he also hopes Richardson is surrounded by the right people.
“As soon as you get your agent, or your coach, or the person they have around you, [he/she] has to explain to you that, listen, these are the rules of the sports that you’re in. You can’t do this. You can’t do that. You can’t take this, you can’t do that,” he said. “I know it must be tough on her. And I’ve always said you should have people around you now to explain it, to make sure this mistake doesn’t happen again.”
While some have found issue with Richardson’s bold personality, Bolt applauds her.
“I like her energy because I think she’s good for the sport because her energy is different. It’s spicy, it’s a vibe,” the Jamaican athlete said.
As Blavity previously reported, critics bashed the 21-year-old sprinter last month after she finished last in the 100-meter race at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. But the Texas native proved her confidence wasn’t at risk of faltering during a post-race interview.
“This is one race. I’m not done. Count me out if you want to,” she said. “Talk all the s**t you want to! You know what I can do!”
Bolt encouraged the star to keep her same energy.
“She brings a different spice to track and field. And sometimes sports need somebody like that to give the energy, to get people talking about it,” he said.
The Olympic icon is looking forward to seeing more attention for track and field as Richardson progresses in her career.
“She does get people talking about track and field. So, for me, that’s something that I personally feel is good for the sport,” the 35-year-old said. “Because track and field is not the biggest sport in the world that people actually go, ‘You know what? Let’s go watch track and field.’ So, for me, if they’re talking about it because she’s high energy and vibes, then for me, I’m okay with it.”
When it comes to whether or not anybody can keep up with Jamaicans who have been dominating on the track, Bolt said “the possibility is there.”
“I hope not though,” he added. “That’s all I have to say, I hope not.”