Tue | Nov 12, 2019

Bolt responds to statue issue

Published:Tuesday | October 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
Sprint King Usain Bolt taking videos while cheering on participants in the Heroes in Action Run/Walk held at the weekend in Falmouth, Trelawny.

Sprint legend Usain Bolt has responded to a debate around the positioning of a statue, which is to be erected in his honour in his home parish of Trelawny, noting that he understands the calls for it to be placed in a public location.

There is a strong debate centred around where in the parish the statue should be placed, with the private access Cruise Ship Pier being pinpointed as the likely home of the Bolt statue. However, residents of the parish have argued that Water Square, which is accessible to the entire public or Bolt's childhood community of Sherwood Content would be more suitable locations for the statue.

Bolt, however, steered clear of the controversy, highlighting that the decision does not rest with him and telling The Gleaner that he would simply be grateful for the huge honour and recognition from his country, regardless of the monument's eventual location.

"For me, the fact that I am getting a statue is an amazing feeling, because as a youth growing up from Sherwood Content I never thought that I would gain such a status," said the world's greatest athlete.




"So for me to actually get a statue, it doesn't really matter where it is. It's in Jamaica so it is just an honour," he added.

Nevertheless, the iconic sprinter did state that he understands the plight of some persons, who argued that the statue needs to be in a public space to be enjoyed by everyone.

"I don't make that decision. I am not the one who can make that choice, but I understand that if it is out in the public then more people will be able to see it. I understand that, but I don't make that decision," Bolt stated.

In the meantime, the sprint king has been enjoying his time since retiring from competitive track and field this year.

According to him, he has been busy with charity and sponsorship work both locally and abroad, but once he is settled, will be looking towards investments in Trelawny.

"We have been trying to get Tracks and Records here (in Falmouth) for the longest while now. Trying to find space because we have one in Ocho Rios, another is coming to MoBay, and so we have been trying to find space to get one in Falmouth," said Bolt in relation to the popular Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records restaurant brand.

"But I think we are getting closer to actually finding a spot. Otherwise, the board just met and we are trying to figure out in which direction we should go. I am doing more charity work now so there isn't a lot of time on my hands but at this point we have not really made any final decisions, but something is coming. I am always trying to do as much for Trelawny."

The first Usain Bolt statue is set to be unveiled at the National Stadium on December 3.

Bolt was at the Heroes in Action Run/Walk on Sunday, which was put on by the JN Foundation and his Usain Bolt Foundation. It was the largest Heroes in Action Run/Walk to date, with over 1,600 participants braving morning showers to take part in the event which was used to raise funds for the parish's infirmary.