Bolting from the sprint track to the soccer field

Raven Ramirez, staff writer

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Usain Bolt, a retired sprinter and a world record holder in many relays, was offered a spot to play soccer with The Central Coast Mariners, of the Australian Soccer League.

“I think it’s pretty cool, I didn’t know that he played soccer,” said Tandehl Collentine,the athletic director at Cactus Shadows and a former soccer player in her college years.

The Central Coast Mariners offered Bolt about $150,000, but Bolt was expecting around three million dollars, according to The Guardian sports news. While deciding whether or not to become a part of this Australian Soccer League, the eight time olympic gold medalist was on trial with the team, which means he could not practice with the team and he could not be on the team until he decided whether or not to join the soccer team.
Bolt is an Olympic sprinter who was nicknamed Lightning Bolt because of how fast he could run. In 2002, Bolt first came to the attention of the world, when he won the 200 meters at the World Junior Championship. He then broke the 100 meter world record by a time of 9.72, which made him a favorite at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Bolt won a total of nine Olympic gold medals, which were all in the men’s 100 and 200 meters. He won the nine gold medals in Beijing, London, and in Rio de Janeiro.

Bolt comes from a running background, not a soccer background, which means he might have to adjust.

“He might not have the skills that soccer players that have been playing for twenty years might have,” said Brooklyn Presta, a sophomore and track runner.

Also, Bolt might have some different movement in soccer than running.

“As a runner it’s not just about the placing of your arms when you’re actually running, but when you go and play soccer, it’s how you are kicking the ball and the fast thinking you have to do,” said Presta.

Bolt has little to no experience with soccer, but he has one other skill that will help him be a better soccer player, his speed. His speed may help the team boost up their game. The Central Coast Mariners is ranked toward the bottom of all of the Soccer Leagues in the world. “I think it would be very cool to see him play professional soccer, because with that speed he would be able to dominate the field,” said Garrett Billingsley, a sophomore on varsity soccer.

“It would most definitely benefit the team, having a player like that, that has that kind of speed and to develop his skill would be a very valuable,” said Billingsley.

Bolt did hint that he would be starting a soccer career.

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