PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):Grenada's World and Olympic champion Kirani James says he is humbled to be recognised outside his role as an athlete.
He was speaking after his arrival here on Thursday to receive the Caribbean Spirit of Sport Award at a red-carpet ceremony last night.
Sports officials here announced last week that the 20-year-old would be honoured with the award for his "unparalleled spirit of humanity" at this year's London Olympics.
"It is very humbling when people could relate to you outside of running fast and turning left," said James.
"It is a huge honour for me to be recognised as a person other than an athlete. It is unique ... it is always going to be a special award."
James became Grenada's first-ever Olympic champion when he stormed to victory in the 400 metres at this year's London Olympics.
After winning the event, he swapped Olympics name tags with double amputee, Oscar Pistorius of South Africa, a gesture that did not go unnoticed by the Awards organisers, who hailed James as a "perfect example of true Caribbean class".
Sports Minister Anil Roberts, who greeted James on his arrival at Piarco Airport, once again praised the athlete, noting that he was a fine example for other sportsmen.
"We will celebrate him for his achievements and his greatness but he does not need to celebrate himself, and this is the message I want to send to all our athletes, especially those who are going to wear red, white and black (Trinidad and Tobago colours) ..." Roberts said.