Usain Bolt is trying out with A-League club Central Coast Mariners

Usain Bolt and the other athletes who swapped sports

Usain Bolt has shocked the world by revealing that he is trying to forge a professional soccer career in his life after the sprinting.

After shattering the record books in a dominant and spectacular career at the Olympics, Bolt is now toiling with the Central Coast Mariners for a sport in Australia's premier soccer competition - the A-League.

Bolt is one of many athletes who has tried to make the jump from one sport to another. Some succeeded, others crashed and burned. Here are some of the more memorable athletes who tried to make the switch.

Michael Carter

Michael Carter played NFL and went to the Olympics

Michael Carter won three Super Bowls and Olympic silver in shotput

This athlete made a huge name for himself when he was still in high school. There, he smashed the record for the 12-pound shot put by more than nine feet (2.74 metres). He was awarded a football scholarship to attend Southern Methodist University but continued to throw the steel ball. That would propel him all the way to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles where Carter won a silver medal. Carter was then drafted by the San Francisco 49ers where he would play out his whole career, winning three Super Bowls.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan spent a year out of basketball to play baseball

Michael Jordan played baseball in 1994 for Chicago White Sox minor league club Birmingham Barons

His Airness doesn't need his basketball resume listed here - Michael Jordan is well established as the greatest of all time. After retiring from the sport for the first time in 1993, Jordan also had a stint in baseball playing for minor league sides Birmingham Barons and Scottsdale Scorpions. He then returned to the NBA in 1994.

Deion Sanders 

Deion Sanders played NFL and MBL

Deion Sanders is the only athlete to play in both a Super Bowl and World Series

Sanders has the rare distinction of being the only athlete to play in both a Super Bowl and World Series. This superstar athlete won two Super Bowls and also played in the 1992 MLB World Series, batting .533 with 4 runs, 8 hits, 2 doubles, and 1 RBI while playing with a broken bone in his foot. Sanders is also the only athlete to hit a home run and get a touchdown in a seven-day period.

Israel Folau

Australia's own code-hopper, Folau was a rugby league legend who played State of Origin and also for the Kangaroos. He then shocked plenty by signing as a marquee recruit in GWS' first season in the AFL. That experiment predictably failed and he ended up forging a successful career in rugby union with the NSW Waratahs and the Wallabies.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Babe Didrikson Zaharias goofs around on the golf course

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was an Olympic gold medallist and successful pro golfer

When it comes to sport hopping athletes, Babe was arguably the greatest female of all-time. She won two gold medals at the 1932 Olympics, in javelin and with a world record in the 80-meter hurdles. She capped that off with silver in the high jump before turning her attention to golf. Babe would go on to win 10 majors and 41 events overall - even winning after she was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Jarryd Hayne

He is a bit of a laughing stock now. But rugby league star Hayne's efforts to crack the NFL should not be understated. The Hayne Plane was signed by the San Francisco 49ers in 2015 and he would play eight NFL games. He 'retired' from the sport the next year (although it is widely regarded that he would not have been offered another contract anyway). Hayne then tried to crack the Fiji Sevens Rugby side for the 2016 Olympics. This venture was unsuccessful and now Hayne is back at Parramatta in the NRL.

Bo Jackson

MLB and NFL star Bo Jackson

Bo Jackson was an All-Star in the NFL and MLB

Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson is the only athlete to be named an All-Star in both baseball and football. While a Super Bowl ring eluded him at the Los Angeles Raiders, he was one of their best ever players with 2782 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. It was a similar tale in baseball, with Jackson joining Kansas City the year after they won the World Series. He would never win a World Series but became an MLB All-Star with 141 home runs.

Ellyse Perry

Arguably Australia's best-ever female athlete. Perry debuted for both the Australian cricket and the Australian women's national soccer teams at just 16. It has been a constant juggle ever since, with the two sports often overlapping. In 2010 Perry chose to play cricket at the ICC World Twenty20 over the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup. But in 2013, she chose to play a semi-final for Sydney FC over the NSW Breakers' Twenty20 final. Perry has played 18 matches for the Matildas with three goals and is best known for her blistering 213* for Australia in The Ashes while she also has a Test average of 61.71.

Jana Pittman 

Jana Pittman competed at both the Summer and Winter Olympics

Jana Pittman went from 400 metre spring to the bobsled

Pittman has made the cut purely because of the bizarre nature of her switch. The former 400-metre sprinter and hurdler won two gold medals at the World Championships and four at the Commonwealth Games. But injuries effectively wrecked her chances of winning Olympic gold. In 2014 she became the first Australian woman to compete at both the Summer and Winter Olympics when she competed in the two-person bobsleigh event at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Pittman and Astrid Radjenovic finished 14th.

Usain Bolt

The superstar sprinter has been given a train and trial shot with the Central Coast Mariners in the Australian A-League soccer competition. He is rated a $7 chance of lining up for the side in round one against the Brisbane Roar.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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