India tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi on Monday said he never thought of playing in his fifth Olympics and expressed the desire to meet Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt during the London Games beginning Friday.
"Well to be honest, when I started my career it never occurred to me that I will figure in the Olympics for the fifth time (in a row). This is a very special moment for me to be part of this global multi-disciplinary sporting panorama," Mahesh said in an interaction at the Games Village here.
Asked about the competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Mahesh bursted into laughter.
"In Beijing, I was asked the same question and there too I laughed on it," he said.
How long he is planning to keep playing, and his reply was simple: "Look, I play on a year to year basis."
On his desire to meet Bolt, Mahesh said: "Bolt represents the best of human endeavour, he is the best runner on the planet. He has mesmerized the whole new generation. He has lost couple of times this year that shows even the greatest of sportspersons are not invincible. And remember he does not come from the first world country."
Asked about his chances of an Olympic medal here, the veteran said: "It depends how Rohan and I play. We have as good a chance as anybody else. There are going to 20 to 25 great teams in the competition and we will have to win four matches to think of a podium finish."
"Let me tell you, it is going to be the toughest contest, much tougher than Grand Slams. Even the top singles players will be playing doubles."
Mahesh was candid enough to admit that his dream was to win a Olympic Medal.
"My dream is stand on podium, it will be the best thing to happen to me," said Bhupathi, whose best Olympic result came in Athens 2004 when he and Leander Paes lost in the semi-finals.
Nowadays, most top professionals are keen to play in the Olympics. Bhupathi said tennis players World over were patriotic.
"Having played for money and fame in the ATP and Grand Slams, they want to play for their country, to raise the profile of their country and Olympic provides that platform."
Asked how he felt to share a small room at the Games Village after being used to five-star luxury, Mahesh replied, "Yeah one room, the feeling has not sunk in yet. It has only been one day so far."