Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt says ‘it will be a good time to retire’ after Rio 2016 Olympics

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Usain Bolt sees the Rio 2016 Olympics as the possible end of his career.

“So far, it’s after the Olympics in Rio,” Bolt said of his retirement plans Wednesday. “I think if I am in great shape, and I go there and do what I have to do. I think it will be a good time to retire, on top, and just being dominating for so long.”

Bolt was speaking two days before his final race of the season, a 100 in Brussels. You can watch Bolt’s entire press conference here.

Bolt, 27, is still dominating. He won triple gold at last month’s World Championships, just as he did at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Bolt also announced his goals for 2014, to possibly compete in the Commonwealth Games for the first time and to better his 200-meter world record of 19.19 set in 2009.

“I have learned, I have mastered the art of running the turn,” Bolt said. “So if I can stay injury free and be in good shape, then it’s possible for me to definitely go after the world record.”

Bolt has said he wants to win three more golds in 2016 in his usual events (100, 200, 4×100 relay). That would give Bolt nine career Olympic medals, all gold, matching Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi‘s record for most Olympic titles in track and field.

The Finnish distance legend Nurmi holds the record for most overall Olympic track and field medals with 12.

Bolt will be 29 come the next Olympics. The most notable sprinters over the last two decades all competed into their 30s.

Lewis was 35 in his final Olympics in 1996, though he only competed in the long jump in Atlanta. Michael Johnson was 33 in 2000, when he won the 400 in his last Games. Donovan Bailey was 32 in 2000, when he was ill and unable to reach the final in the 100. 2000 Olympic 100-meter champion Maurice Greene was 30 in his Olympic farewell in 2004.

In Brussels, Bolt will face a field that includes world silver and bronze medalists Justin Gatlin and Nesta Carter on Friday at 2:45 p.m. Eastern time.

Here’s NBC Sports track and field analyst Ato Boldon analyzing Bolt’s comments Wednesday on “SportsDash.”

Samuel L. Jackson wants Bolt in movie

Yuzuru Hanyu opens Olympic season with record score

Yuzuru Hanyu
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A sore knee didn’t hold Yuzuru Hanyu back. A record score to open his Olympic season.

The Olympic and world champion from Japan hit a pair of quadruple jumps in his short program at the Autumn Classic, a lower-level event in Montreal.

He was rewarded with 112.72 points, the highest short program score recorded under the 13-year-old judging system. Video is here.

It looked like a home competition for Hanyu.

Upon finishing, he bowed toward one set of bleachers (maybe a dozen rows) at the Sportsplexe Pierrefonds. More than two dozen Japanese flags made it hard to see most of the faces.

He bettered Javier Fernández, a two-time world champion and training partner, by 11.52 points. Fernández also landed two quadruple jumps to tally 101.2.

Full scores will be here upon the conclusion of the short program. The free skate is Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. A live stream is here.

Hanyu now owns the three highest short program scores under the 13-year-old system. The other two were set in the 2015-16 season.

Showdowns like Hanyu-Fernández are usually reserved for, at the earliest, the Grand Prix series in late October and November.

Hanyu and Fernández are very familiar with each other, having shared a coach in Canadian Brian Orser, the 1988 Olympic silver medalist, since 2012. They train in Toronto.

In that time, Hanyu became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic title (and the second teen from any nation to do it). He followed it up with world titles later in 2014 and this year.

Fernández achieved unfathomable success for a Spanish skater — world titles in 2015 and 2016, overtaking Hanyu in the free skate both times.

In PyeongChang, Hanyu can become the first man to repeat as Olympic champion since Dick Button in 1952. Fernández can become the third Spaniard to earn a Winter Olympic medal of any color in any sport, and the first since 1992.

The figure skating season continues next week with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

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USOC letter assures Olympians about South Korea security

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The U.S. Olympic Committee’s security chief sent a letter to potential Winter Olympians saying there are no indications that recent developments between the U.S. and North Korea have compromised security in South Korea.

The letter, obtained by The Associated Press shortly after it was sent Friday, makes no suggestion that the U.S. is considering skipping the PyeongChang Winter Games for security reasons.

But Chief Security Officer Nicole Deal does write that provocations that have been volleyed between the United States and North Korea are likely to persist for the foreseeable future, and “should not be dismissed as insignificant nor feared as precursors of an inevitable conflict.”

The letter comes at the end of a week in which France’s sports minister suggested the country’s athletes would stay home if security could not be guaranteed.

The International Olympic Committee, trying to calm concerns, reiterated that in conversations with high-level officials in China and South Korea, none have expressed doubt about the Winter Games proceeding as scheduled, next February.

The USOC also sent out a public statement Friday from CEO Scott Blackmun.

“We will continue to work with our State Department and local organizers to ensure that our athletes, and our entire delegation, are safe,” he said.

The letter, sent to athletes, national governing bodies and other Olympic leaders in the United States, said the USOC’s security division is operating as “business as usual for our security planning and preparations.”

Deal writes that the USOC is reviewing crisis management plans that address a range of potential scenarios “to ensure our athletes, and our entire delegation, are safe.”

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