Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Monday, 04 December 2017 17:06

Usain Bolt immortalized in statue

Sprint legend Usain Bolt, arguably the greatest athlete of all times, has been immortalized with a statue in his honour in Kingston, Jamaica.

At a ceremony, led by Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness among other luminaries including the iconic Bolt himself, an eight-foot bronze statue was unveiled at Statue Park at the entrance of the National Stadium.

Bolt’s statue, sculpted by renowned artist Basil Watson, will now share eternal space with many of the country’s athletics great such as Herb McKinley, Merlene Ottey and Donald Quarrie.

“Never did I feel that I would be in this moment, as big as it is now, among statues at the National Stadium where it all began,” said Bolt, winner of six individual Olympic gold medals and seven individual world titles.

Bolt, the world record holder for the 100m and 200m, added: “This is why I always encourage everybody. Anything is possible, no limits. Because at no point in time did I ever think I would achieve this much, but I've always pushed on and stayed focused for what I want.”

In a video message during the ceremony, IAAF President Sebastian Coe acknowledged the impact Bolt has had on athletics.

“Usain has changed the face of our sport,” said Coe. “His has been an extraordinary career which has exemplified competitive excellence, extraordinary character, good sportsmanship and professionalism.

“His career has exemplified competitive excellence, extraordinary character, outstanding sportsmanship and professionalism, all of which has made him a global superstar.

“Usain may have left the track but I know he will never leave the sport and we look forward to working closely with him on the next part of his journey in the greatest sport on the planet,” added Coe. “On behalf of the world of athletics, thank you to a giant of world sport who has made an immense contribution to athletics worldwide.”

While lauding the achievements of the sprinter, Prime Minister Holness says it’s important that the National Stadium is upgraded to world class status to hosts world class events and nurture more Usain Bolts for the future.

Published in Sports

Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports (CGES), Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, has given her full endorsement to the Racers Grand Prix being staged by the Racers Track Club in June of this year.

Speaking at the media launch of the event at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel yesterday, Wednesday, March 9, Minister Grange said the new government of Jamaica was extremely delighted and proud that the country is staging another major track and field event of international repute.

She told those in attendance that it is time to “think big” and use sports and the creative industries to advance the economic growth agenda. “I am back and ready for the job and I want all the stakeholders to think big. We can’t be so talented and be constrained by narrow views. So I absolutely applaud this initiative by Racers Track Club and I know it will be successful.”

“We are undoubtedly the sprint factory of the world, but this latest addition to the local and international event calendars provides us as a country with the opportunity to fine-tune preparations to become dominant in other disciplines such as middle distance races and field events.”

She added, “It is clear to me that the work of past and present athletes and sports administrators such as the late legendary Herb McKenley and Howard Aris is bearing fruit today. It is the contribution of men like McKenley and Aris and others that has made the athletics world look at Jamaica with serious respect and envy.

For the world governing body to sanction the second international athletics event in Jamaica, granting us Area Permit Meet status, is concrete evidence that we are highly regarded in the eyes of the world.

Just looking at the list of confirmed athletes from other countries for this meet is convincing enough for me. The world’s top-six javelin throwers have already confirmed their participation which is quite telling!”

The inaugural Racer’s Grand Prix is set for June 11 at the National Stadium.

Minister Grange congratulated Dr. the Hon Glen Mills, OJ, who is the chairman of the organising committee, for having the vision to conceptualise the event. She applauded his commitment to aiding the development of athletics in Jamaica and noted that it is through the hard work of the coaches that Jamaica now has a large cadre of world class athletes.

In his remarks, Ambassador, Dr. the Hon Usain Bolt, said the track meet would be one of the best in the world. He promised that there would be a swell of international athletes descending on Jamaica and that he intended to put in a special performance.

Among the athletes attending the launch were sprinters Michael Frater, Zharnel Hughes, Yohan Blake, Warren Weir and hurdler, Hansle Parchment.

Minister Grange said a major part of her focus, as she leads the sports ministry, would be to seek to marry sports, entertainment and tourism and create the best opportunities for the country’s talent.

Published in Sports

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