Jamaican Athlete Usain Bolt
Enthusiastic Young Man or Showboating Victor?
Usain Bolt, a tall lanky Jamaican from the yam farming parish of Trelawny in the island's Cockpit Country dazzled the 91,000 spectators in China's Bird's Nest Stadium in the Summer of 2008 to win his country's first gold in the 100 metres dash in a record time of 9.69 seconds.
Bolt went on to take the 200 metres in 19.30, and helped his 4x100 team to a victory as well. According to the Official Website of the Beijing 2008 games "Jamaica's near-total domination of the sprints was underlined in the Men's 4 x 100m Relay. The team, featuring Bolt on the third leg and former world-record holder Asafa Powell on the anchor, raced home with a new world record of 37.10".
Admittedly I am more of a soccer fan than a follower of running, so there has got to be something special, something more than his lightning fast speed to, sustain my interest in Usain Bolt, even to write on article on him for hub pages. Well, to be honest, his name recognition is a very significant reason for putting him on hub pages. But there's more.
The man is just dramatic.
Listen to this: he is running world record time, and he slows down to slap his chest and celebrate before crossing the finish line in the 100 metres race. Wikipedia reports on a research by Hans Eriksen and his people at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo. They analysed Bolt's position, acceleration and velocity in comparison with second-place-finisher Thompson, and figured that the runner could have clocked 9.55 if he had not slowed down to celebrate.
Usain Bolt attracted mixed press for his youthful display. IOC president Jacques Rogge condemned the athlete's actions as disrespectful.
Bolt's explanation: "As soon as I saw I had covered the field and I knew I would win, I was very happy and I started to celebrate." The IAAF's Lamine Diack was in Bolt's corner as criticism flew back and forth. He said that Bolt's celebration was appropriate given the circumstances of his victory.
Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica'a Minister of Tourism, also supported Bolt. "We have to allow the personality of youth to express itself", he said.
Bolt himself had some more to say in his defence, Jamaica Observer newspaper reports him as sayng: "I talked to the other athletes. Most of them were okay with it. That's just how it goes in track and field. I'm just trying to enjoy myself, that's it. The fans are watching, and they want to know your personality, and I try to enjoy myself at all times. I won't change, and a lot of people like seeing me perform. I won't change because that's my personality."
What, dear reader do you think? Is Usain Bolt a showoff or is he just an exuberant winner but an otherwise gentle giant?
Personally, I believe he just needs strong mentoring in order to temper some of his questionable antics. Most adoring fans are blind to the difference between celebrating and showboating. I don't believe that Usain Bolt sets out to be classless, or to display immature showboating. The fact that his celebratory antics give that impression should prompt his handlers to improve his public relations without toning down his image, his unique Jamaican brand.
Below I link a polite letter written by a balanced thinker;
Bolt Survives Car Wreck and Receives Speedy Insurance Settlement
Injuries plagued Usain Bolt early in his career, so his expectant fans were happy to see him peak at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The Jamaican sprinter was the star performer of the games and was duly rewarded by his main sponsor, Puma, with a fully loaded BMW M3 for his 22nd birthday.
The beaming CEO Jorgen Zeitz was gushing with adulation in Beijing when he announced the gift. Jamaica Observer newspaper reported that he said "Puma is a brand that wants to mix things up and push boundaries, and we have a brand personality that combines sport performance on one side, style, fashion, and living a positive lifestyle on the other. So we are always looking for partners who do just that. Six years ago, we felt Jamaica as a country and the athletes would represent Puma well and it paid off in a big way.
"But we do not just focus on winning. We really focus on how we perform and how we do it. That is why we have a partnership with Jamaica. Jamaica does it in style. It's a wonderful lifestyle we would all want, but don't have time to go to Jamaica.
"Bringing that feeling to the world made all the difference in the world. And if you look at how Jamaica has performed that's what has brought the country into the hearts of the world. And that was our mission. Of course, you want to win, but even if you don't win, you give your personal best and you also want to enjoy it."
Less than one year later the sprint sensation wrecked the car in the rain on Highway 2000 near Kingston. He and two female companions walked away from the wreck. Bolt's only injury, a thorn in his toe when he stepped out barefooted.
That fellow is blessed. He had better give God thanks. No doubt the car manufacturer should be given some credit for safety in the design but I'll try to put up a YouTube video so that you can see the wreck for yourself.
Wait, there's more.
The Jamaica Observer of Monday, May 18, 2009, could not but help commenting on the speedy insurance settlement in it's editorial.
"His wonderful talent, combined with charisma, has made him a media darling and an advertiser's dream.
So it is then that the insurers Advantage General Insurance Company showed good business sense in moving to gain media and publicity benefit from its settlement with Mr Bolt, following his recent motor vehicle spill on Highway 2000.
We are told that Mr Bolt collected approximately J$14.250 million or US$160,000 from Advantage General Insurance Company. That's 95 per cent of the insured value of the wrecked 2009 BMW M3 Coupe...More to the point, the accident claim was settled "in eight working days" which, we suspect, is some sort of record for motor vehicle accident insurance in Jamaica. Surely, yet another tick on Mr Bolt's growing list of record achievements."
The insurance company tried to downplay the Olympic record timing of the investigation and payout by stating that delays are usually because information is not readily available, but in Bolt's case his information was already in the public domain. Yea right! And I'm Santa Claus!
A Wealthy Athlete in Jamaica...
You just can't keep Usain Bolt out of the news.
While the king of track was in Ostrava, Czech Republic blazing away a year best 9.77 s to launch his European campaign, thieves entered his Lady Musgrave Avenue home in St.Andrew, Jamaica in the wee hours of Wednesday, June 17, 2009 and made off with US$1,000 worth of electrical items.
Come on you guys who handle Usain Bolt. The star sprinter is winning star-studded events with rich rewards; he resides in Jamaica which unfortunately is the crime capital of the world. Give the young man some security. A wealthy athlete in Jamaica is going to be targeted by hoodlums. Thank God no one was hurt.
We know something is going to happen to keep the triple Olympic champion in the news, but please wake up and smell the milk around the baby's mouth. He is still an innocent country boy who needs to be mentored in the areas of public relations and city living. His warm up and celebratory antics are there for the world to see.
Anyone who draws that kind of mixed press in this information age needs close management. Protect him from bandits and burglars.
And if you decide to get around to it some day, please, pretty please, spend some time protecting him from himself.
London 2012 All About Usain Bolt
The sprint sensation takes the double in the London 2012 Olympics and even Sir Alex of Manchester United is so enamored with the overgrown kid that there is a good chance we might see Bolt take the football field for the Old Trafford team in the near future.
Usain and the Gaza vs Gully Dance Hall Culture
Athletics Chief Sees Faster Bolt
- Athletics: Bolt can run 9.40s says IAAF President - Yahoo! Sports
From Yahoo! Sports: LONDON (Reuters) - Olympic champion Usain Bolt could lower his 100 meters world record to 9.4 seconds if in shape and the rain clouds stay away from London, International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) president Lamine Diack