Jul 23, 2013, 3:59 PM EST
Yohan Blake likes to read “The Notebook” while listening to soft Michael Jackson music, quotes what he thinks is Muhammad Ali before races and is called the “Socks Man” back home.
These tidbits and more were revealed by the Olympic silver medalist in the 100 and 200 meters in an interview with GQ.
Let’s start with the “Socks Man” nickname. GQ asked Blake, 23, to name the last stylish item he purchased.
“Pretty socks,” he said. “They call me ‘Socks Man’ back home because my feet are always pretty in my colored socks. I love to get them from different stores all over the world. The last pair I bought was in Canada. They were a mix of pink, orange, blue, gray. I like to have a mix as I always wear different socks at the same time.”
Blake is known worldwide for another nickname — “The Beast.” He said in the interview most people think he’s “a living and walking beast,” but they shouldn’t be afraid to approach him.
Blake also said he listens to reggae while training, but at home he enjoys Jackson and reading his “love novel” — “The Notebook.”
Of course, there was also a question about Usain Bolt.
“Some might say Bolt has made a career out of peacocking on the track when he wins … ”
To which Blake answered: “That’s different — he’s very nervous. He does all of that to get that nervousness away. Trust me. It’s a release.”
Blake on his pre-race routine:
“Sometimes I say, ‘fly like a bird, sting like a bee,’ to get myself like Muhammad Ali to get a hold of myself.”
Of course, that’s not quite Ali’s famous line.
The GQ story also talked about Blake’s famous $500,000 watch publicized last year. Blake has upgraded to a new watch with a beast claw covering its face.
Blake, the reigning world champion in the 100 meters, pulled out of August’s world championships earlier this month due to a hamstring injury that’s plagued him since the spring. He has since been ruled out for the rest of the season by his manager.
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