Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Walk away while you're on top, Bolt

Published:Wednesday | August 24, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The measure of a man is not in his conquest in the heat of a battle, but by his wisdom to walk away, even though undefeated. The worst mistake made by the late great Ali was to be engaged in fights well past his prime, because it not only took the shine off his legacy, but it pitted him with men who were lesser mortals and who were not worthy to unlatch his shoe, much less to defeat him in a match.

Usain Bolt is no ordinary mortal. What this man has done for athletics, for Jamaica and for sports worldwide is not only unprecedented but can never be emulated, at least not in our lifetime.

Usain Bolt has caused international commentators to fact-check if Jamaica is really an island - some argues it is a continent, and me being the only black man, a Jamaican, was confronted by people in a TD Bank here in Mississauga from various nationalities inquiring, as one man from Pakistan put it, "Tell us the truth? What's the population of Jamaica?" I responded that it was 2.6 million. People were astounded.

Bolt has done it all. There is absolutely nothing left for him to do or to prove. My advice to Usain Bolt is, and I say this with a very heavy heart and with tears in my eyes, knowing the void that will be left in athletics: Walk away now, Mr Bolt, at the pinnacle of your career.