Mario Kart
Image: Nintendo

Olympic sprint champ Usain Bolt got to the pinnacle of his profession through hard work, perseverance and innate natural talent, but he has admitted that video games also played a part in his drive for success.

Speaking to BBC Gaming Reporter Steffan Powell, Bolt – who is an eight-time Olympic gold medallist and the only sprinter to win 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics – discussed how he would sometimes miss training in order to indulge in his passion for video gaming.

For me, those are the things that excite me about video games. Just learning and being the best at it. I feel like it kinda helped my hunger, I would say. To always want to win. But I feel like it, in a way, kind of helped out with the track and field, because now, when you get on the track, you have that same mentality as when you're playing video games. You just want to win.

Powell then jokingly suggests that Bolt's success was down to his time in Mario Kart, to which the champ replied "it helped, it helped". He also added that, if he had started his career today, he might think twice about athletics and become an eSports pro instead.

Usain's interview is part of a campaign with Virgin Media to show off hologram technology that could revolutionise online video gaming in the future. He conducted the interview over an internet link, but, thanks to Portl, was able to speak to Powell as if he were in the same room, appearing as a 4K holographic projection.

Bolt is a guest on the latest episode of BBC Sounds Podcast Press X to Continue.