KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has praised Usain Bolt as a “global hero” and says the sprint star has given Jamaica a new level of international visibility.
Holness was speaking at the regional premiere of the film, I Am Bolt, which documents Bolt’s life and rise to stardom in track and field.
“Usain Bolt is now Jamaica’s biggest ambassador. His personality, his ability to draw people to him (and) his showmanship
have really given a boost
to Brand Jamaica,” Holness said.
“His achievements on the field, tied with his personality and being able to do this while remaining clean (of performance-enhancing drugs), puts him way above the rest, and he is truly not just a Jamaican hero, but a global hero.”
The 30-year-old Bolt is a multiple-time Olympic gold medallist, and widely regarded as the greatest ever sprinter. He has won the 100 and 200 metres at three successive Olympics and has added another three gold in the sprint relay, to bring his tally to nine.
He still holds the World records in both the 100 and 200 metres.
Holness said Bolt was the ideal example of what could be accomplished through hard work and commitment.
“[Usain] is a national treasure, an asset for us and a great ambassador, but he is also a great representation of what we can do as humans by working very hard, being committed and maintaining principles,” the country’s leader stressed.
Holness was one of several government officials, in addition to political and business figures who attended the premiere of the film at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
Sports Minister Olivia Gra said Bolt remained central to Jamaica’s international marketability.
“At the centre of Brand Jamaica is Usain Bolt,” she said.
“Usain Bolt is a legend and it is something that we have to cherish and we have to recognise and we have to say thanks for.”