Sun | Aug 19, 2018

The Wright View | Not in approval

Published:Tuesday | August 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Usain Bolt (right) being congratulated by prime minister of Jamaica at the time, Bruce Golding, folowing the investiture of the Order of Jamaica upon Bolt, during the presentation of National Honours and Awards on the lawns of King’s House on National Heroes Day in 2009.

Usain Bolt does not need anyone to embellish his achievements as the world's greatest athlete.

By winning gold in the 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4x100m relay at the Rio Olympics, he completed the triple-triple of gold medals won in three consecutive Olympic Games.

A legend in his own time, in doing so he has brought unmitigated joy to his people (fellow Jamaicans) not only during the Olympics and World Championships, but also in his every public appearance, where his persona and sayings have inspired adults and children from every country that sends athletes to athletic events.

Sponsors are literally falling over themselves to have him associated with their products, to the extent where the seldom used 'contract-for- life' clause now seems to be an integral part of any future sponsorship deal.

Back at the ranch (here in Jamaica), commentators have been jostling to provide the idea behind a suitable reward to this great man. Land, money, statue, his birthday being designated a National Holiday (similar to Christmas) and National Hero status have all been put forward for the Government to contemplate, before the 'Big Man' himself returns home.

Significantly, his final race in Rio, the 4x100-metre relay, was followed by celebrations, not only for the historic triple-triple, but for his 30th birthday.

What a coincidence, what joy. Could life for the 'Big Man' get any better?

With money to burn, mother and father presumably on their way back to Jamaica, alleged 'girlfriend' in Jamaica posting pictures of 'generous gifts', etc., and announcing that Rio would be his last Olympics, now is the time to 'bruk out'. And 'bruk out' he did!

With 'paparazzi' and other media practitioners thirsty for any news concerning this worldly sensation, our man in Rio didn't disappoint.

The world and Jamaica were soon regaled by selfies, videos, stories of trips from bars and night clubs to hotels and apartments, in both Rio and London.




True to his word, where he is quoted as saying some years ago "if you are famous, you need to have a family - that's what they need to sell in Britain. I don't know why. It's respectability. But I am not English! I am Jamaican! We have a totally different culture ... Jamaican culture is different, when you look at women and men having more than one ... It's different."

Usain Bolt is right. In Jamaica IT IS DIFFERENT. But is that what we want our 'hero' to portray not only in word, but deed?

What went on in Rio and London, is that to be the modus operandi of a man who may have his birthday declared a National Holiday (as is Christmas), who may be designated a National Hero and have statues of him placed in Sherwood Content, Falmouth and the National Stadium?

Popular sentiment seems to be "low the man, him single and him rich, him deserve to party".

I think not. To date, however, only retired former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, has issued a public statement of concern re the actions of Bolt.

Mr Golding is quoted as saying: "I know he is smart and responsible enough to understand that he carries on his shoulders and IN HIS PERSONA (my emphasis) the pride and adulation of millions of Jamaicans here and abroad, and I know him well enough to assert that he would never want to let them down."

All the other leaders in politics, religion and sports have kept a deafening silence.

I don't approve of his actions!

The power that Usain Bolt has over millions of children, not only in Jamaica, but throughout the world (see his ads during the Olympics) demands that our leaders and other influential Jamaicans SAY SOMETHING!

I am hoping that this is a one-off aberration and that soon, very soon, the 'old' Usain will say "I am sorry" and move on with his life.

We must have the moral courage to stand up and say "stop it Usain, stop it".