“I would hope he’ll settle down, get married and start his family,” Jennifer Bolt told CNN’s Don Riddell as she talked about the hopes she has for her son once he stops competing.
“I know he’ll settle down because he has said it,” she added ahead of Bolt running in the 100 meters over the weekend at Rio’s Olympic Stadium.
“He told me many times that he’s going to start his family.”
Not many sports stars transcend their discipline, but Bolt has — and then some.
His golden success at the Beijing and London Olympics as well as his trademark “Lightning Bolt” salute has ensured the sprinter is as recognizable and as marketable face as the likes of tennis star Roger Federer
as well as footballers Lionel Messi
and Cristiano Ronaldo
So just what’s it like being mom to the planet’s quickest man?
“It’s really, you know, a pleasure knowing that we have the fastest man as our son because we get to go out, we do lots of interviews, get to go places,” she says. “It’s really a pleasure. It’s happy and feeling good.”
‘Tears of joy’
Bolt might have estimated annual earnings of $30 million — he ranks 32nd of Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes — but as he has accrued all those gold medals and the ensuing financial success, a smile has never disappeared from the sprinter’s face.
Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise because there’s clearly a lot of love in the Bolt household back in their hometown of Trelawny in Jamaica — the sprinter’s mom references the word “joy” a number of times in her interview with CNN.
“Oh I’m so overwhelmed … the joy … sometimes I cry,” she says when asked about the adulation Bolt seems to attract from crowds whenever he runs. “The tears are coming out within me. It’s just tears of joy.”
If Jennifer Bolt has cried tears of joy at her son’s power to connect with people there were times in the formative years of his career when he cried in experiencing nervousness before big races, notably at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Jamaica — a scene portrayed in a new film about his life.
“When I talked with him he stopped crying and I think he thought about it and he said: ‘OK mom, I’m going to do my best.’
“I said the Lord is with you and I’m gonna pray for you and he just goes out there and when I saw the race I saw him in front and the crowd started to shout his name.
“I think that helped to motivate him because he could hear the stadium, the crowd in the stadium shouting.”
Fast forward to 2016 and as Bolt, who turn 30 on the final day of competition at the Games, bids to win the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay title at three consecutive Olympics, there’s another thing on the sprinter’s mind, according to his 54-year-old mom.
“He’s trying to get everyone to love because he has grown close to us and yet he has gotten a lot of love. So he’s like to share some of that joy with others.”