Bolt: Success depends on your hard work
Triple Olympic, gold medallist Usain Bolt, who won the RJR Sport Foundation National Sportsman of the Year Award for 2016, said on Friday night that he hopes that he has been an inspiration to youngsters.
Bolt, who has now won the award on seven occasions - 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 - has now equalled former boxer Michael McCallum's tally, which he gained in the years 1978, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1990.
Speaking after he received his award at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Friday night, Bolt said that he had what he described as a 'rough and up and down season' in 2016, but he was successful because of "God's strength" and the support he got from many persons.
"With the support I got from my team, all my friends, and the support from Jamaica and my fans all around the world, I pulled through," said the world's fastest man.
Bolt said that this was made possible through hard training, but joked that coach Glen Mills, a man he described during his acceptance speech as his father and friend, would disagree.
"For me, it was a very hard season," he said. "I trained really hard. I know my coach is watching and saying 'lies, Usain, lies!'" Bolt said with a big smile, but added: "I worked really hard to get to my goal."
Bolt left a message of motivation for his younger fans, telling them never to give up on their dreams.
"I am from Trelawny and I've never thought I'd be, at this stage of my life, one of the greatest athletes ever. In that, I want to say that hard work pays off. So if you want to be great, just work towards what you want, not only to be a track star, but if you want to be a doctor or lawyer, never give up. I have been through a lot in my career, but I have never given up (even) once. I have always pushed on, and look where I am! So just use me as motivation or as an example just to work to be the best you can be."
Bolt added that he wanted to help to keep the track and field flag flying high after he has finished competing.
"I definitely want to be a part of my sport when I retire. I don't want to just walk away. I want to help it as much as possible, like when I was running," he said.