The fastest man in history is taking part in the 4x100m relay in Glasgow, but - according to The Times - did not seem particularly thrilled to be there as he was interviewed following his meeting with the royal family.
Waiting for his car outside the athletes’ village, Bolt was asked what he thought of the Games. His alleged retort was uncharacteristically rude.
"A bit sh*t," Bolt is said to have commented before adding that "the Olympics were better".
According to The Times, Bolt then made his excuses and left to "do some business" which, to his credit, included posing for photos with children and policemen before racing off.
Bolt's manager Ricky Simms denied the reports, calling them "rubbish", while a furious-sounding Bolt took to social media to distance himself from the alleged slur.
I'm waking up to this nonsense..journalist please don't create lies to make headlines
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) July 30, 2014
As you’d expect, Bolt’s alleged revelation yielded a reaction on social media – but, surprisingly, most seemed to be in agreement. Unfortunately the lack of censoring means we cannot relay these tweets, but most questioned the purpose of the tournament, not to mention the level.
Whether he uttered the words or not, Bolt may have a point, even if the sentiment was a little extreme.
Many will argue that the Commonwealth Games – like the lower-profile Francophone Games – is an archaic concept with a somewhat scattergun selection of nations.
Certainly the athletics events are weaker without the Americans on the track, and the Eastern Europeans in the field.
But the likes of Bolt must take a share of the responsibility – the fastest man of all time over 100 and 200m, he can only be bothered to trot out for the relay, instead spending time hob-nobbing with royals. If Bolt took it more seriously, surely others would too?
Additionally, some of the events are close to the peak of world class competition. The pool, for example, may be missing the Americans and the continental European swimmers, but Australia, South Africa and the Home Nations are excellent value and we have seen some very fast times.
And sports like squash – bizarrely yet to make the Olympic cut – have many of the world’s top stars in action in Glasgow, with world number two Nick Matthew winning the men’s title in the absence of France’s Gregory Gaultier.
So while you can understand why Bolt might not be as happy as he was in London two years ago, there is life in this old dog yet.
- Athletics, Track & Field
- Sports & Recreation
- Usain Bolt
- Commonwealth Games