Usain Bolt, who is still showing up to the track, lost a bet on his 100m world record


Usain Bolt overestimated his speed at the peak of his sprinting power.

Bolt predicted he would win the 2009 World Championships 100m in 9.52 seconds, he said in an Instagram chat with retired British hurdler Colin Jackson on Thursday. Of course, Bolt won that race in Berlin in 9.58 seconds, a world record that still stands today.

Bolt said he predicted his time before the final in a bet with his coach, Glen Mills, and a man named Eddie (likely his longtime masseur, Everald Edwards). Bolt chose 9.52. Mills 9.54. Eddie 9.56.

Bolt was supremely confident, despite crashing a BMW into a highway ditch on April 29, 2009. He required minor left foot surgery after stepping onto thorns while getting out of the wreckage.

“Even when I came back from the accident, I was training, I was feeling such good shape,” Bolt said. “So, for me, when we got to Berlin, I was on fire.”

Bolt’s world record going into the world championships was 9.69 seconds, when he celebrated before crossing the finish line at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“I was told that with an all-out finish, after the opening 60 meters, Usain was projected to run a 9.52,” in China, Mills said later in August 2008, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

After 2009 Worlds, Bolt broke 9.76 once more the rest of his career — a 9.63 in the 2012 London Games final to re-break the Olympic record.

He retired in 2017. Bolt said Thursday he had at least one moment of thought about returning but quickly dismissed it. But he still shows up to the track in Jamaica to visit Mills’ current crop of sprinters.

He grabs a watch and acts like a hardened coach, especially with Zharnel Hughes, the 24-year-old national teamer for Great Britain. Hughes has drawn comparisons to Bolt for his build.

“My funniest part is hitting him with, ‘Time’s up, let’s go! Let’s go!’” between sprints, Bolt said. “Nobody wants to hear, ‘Yep, time’s up, let’s go! Get to the line!’ For me, it’s a joy for me to say that. Yeah, Zharnel, time’s up. And he goes, no, I’ve got a minute left. I go, nope, that’s not what my watch is saying.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

MORE: Why Usain Bolt ate 1,000 chicken nuggets at Olympics

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch

Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine

Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”