Usain Bolt, Barack Obama

Usain Bolt on meeting President Obama, Lexi Thompson, what he whispered to Ryan Bailey

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source: AP
AP

NEW YORK — Before Usain Bolt races at the Adidas Grand Prix on Saturday (NBC, NBC Sports Live Extra, 1-3 p.m. ET), the six-time Olympic champion discussed recent chats with President Barack Obama, golfer Lexi Thompson and U.S. sprinter Ryan Bailey.

On April 9, Bolt met Obama in Kingston (video here). What did they say?

“It was one of those moments that I never thought would happen,” Bolt said. “I remember when [I was told] we might be able to meet the president. I was playing it cool, but when I actually met him, it was a different situation. I was dumbstruck. I didn’t know really what to say to the President of the United States. For me, it was one of those moments that puts you in awe. It was wonderful. I really enjoyed having a small talk with him. He knew me pretty well, and he knew my pose.

“I didn’t say much. He was saying what I did was great, and, ‘I’m sure your country’s proud of you, continue striving to be the best.’ I was mumbling a lot of stuff. Not a lot of words came out.”

“What surprised me was he said, ‘Yo, let’s do the pose together.’ That, for me, was the best thing. I was mid-sentence as he said it. Right into my pose instantly.”

Adidas Grand Prix preview, schedule, broadcast info

The previous April, Bolt shared a flight to Milan with the golfer Thompson, a fellow Puma athlete, to film this hot-tub commercial.

Here’s what Thompson said of Bolt earlier this week:

“We had a lot of laughs on that airplane ride. We talked about TV shows. He got mad at me for some reason for saying that my favorite show was ‘Criminal Minds’ or ‘Law & Order’ for some reason. He was a very cool guy. I got to spend a few hours with him. He was cracking jokes the whole time. He had a camera in his face the few hours I got to spend with him, and he was just a very laid back, cool guy.”

Bolt’s road to the Rio Olympics and to a planned 2017 retirement will be documented in a film for theatrical release.

Thompson, a 20-year-old ranked No. 11 in the world, could join Bolt at the Rio 2016 Olympics, golf’s first time at the Games since 1904.

Here’s what Bolt remembered from his conversation with Thompson, namely her TV favorites:

“All of those shows are pretty much the same thing, the same episode every week. This is why I stopped watching, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger,’ stuff like that, because the episodes are pretty much the same. Somebody dies, and somebody goes and solves the mystery. It’s the same thing.

“I told her I can’t play golf to save my life. We talked a little bit about golf. I’m not going to be one of those persons that retires to go play golf. I won’t be one of those persons. I’ll probably play basketball or soccer or something.”

Finally, Bolt discussed his mixed-zone whisper to the U.S. sprinter Bailey, after Bailey anchored the Americans to a 4x100m win over Bolt anchoring the Jamaicans at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, on May 2.

“I told him, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll get you back for that one. Don’t worry.’ He laughed,” Bolt said.

Bolt may get his chance at the World Championships in Beijing. The 4x100m relay, won by Jamaica at the last three World Championships and two Olympics, is Aug. 29 at the Bird’s Nest.

Flashback Video: Usain Bolt at the Athens 2004 Olympics

Eddy Alvarez, Olympic short track medalist, to play for Miami Marlins

Eddy Alvarez
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Eddy Alvarez realized his MLB dream, six years after earning a Winter Olympic medal, and during a global pandemic that affected his club more than any other U.S. professional sports franchise.

Alvarez, a 2014 U.S. Olympic short track speed skating medalist, is being added to the Miami Marlins roster for Tuesday’s restart of their abbreviated season, president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday, according to Marlins beat reporters.

The 30-year-old was among a group added after as many as 18 Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus last week, forcing the club to cancel seven games.

Alvarez is believed to be the first U.S. Winter Olympian to become a Major League Baseball player.

He may be the second Olympic medalist in a sport other than baseball to make it to the majors, joining Jim Thorpe. (Michael Jordan tried to do so with the Chicago White Sox, playing Double-A in 1994, but returned to the Chicago Bulls in 1995.)

Alvarez, a Miami native, played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College before focusing on short track in 2012 for a 2014 Olympic run.

He came back from missing the 2010 Olympic team and surgeries on both knees, reportedly leaving him immobile and bedpan dependent for four to six weeks, to make the Sochi Winter Games. Eddy the Jet earned a silver medal in the 5000m relay.

Then Alvarez returned to baseball after three years away. He signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox in June 2014. He worked his way through the minors between that franchise and the Marlins system.

Alvarez was a Kannapolis Intimidator, a New Orleans Baby Cake and a Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

Now, he’s a big leaguer.

“It definitely was a chance, picking up a kid who hasn’t played in three years who is starting at the age of 24,” Alvarez said in 2014. “It’s not your typical story, but I play like a 17-year-old kid. I’m running around everywhere. I’m diving around everywhere. I’m full of life. I definitely see my progression moving at a rapid pace.”

MORE: What Olympic baseball, softball return looks like in 2021

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Katie Ledecky balances glass of chocolate milk on her head while swimming

Katie Ledecky
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Katie Ledecky will always remember Aug. 3 as the date she won her first Olympic gold medal, at age 15 in 2012.

Now, she can also associate it with the time she created another kind of buzz on social media.

The five-time Olympic champion posted video of her swimming the length of a pool while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Barely any, if any, milk spilled into the pool.

Ledecky swam as part of a new got milk? ad campaign.

“Hoooowww nervous were you when you did this?!” fellow Olympic champion and training partner Simone Manuel asked Ledecky on Instagram.

“I have never braced my core so hard,” Ledecky wrote. “It’s a great drill!”

“Try doing it breaststroke,” British Olympic 100m breaststroke champion and world-record holder Adam Peaty wrote.

“Is it wrong of me to think this is even more impressive than a few of your WR’s?!!!” wrote 1992 Olympic champion Summer Sanders.

MORE: The meet where Kathleen Ledecky became Katie Ledecky

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