Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Usain Bolt danced up a storm, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was as classy as ever, and Alphanso Cunningham shared the spotlight as telecommunications company Digicel showed its appreciation for its brand ambassadors at a soiree on Thursday night at the company's global headquarters along the waterfront in downtown Kingston.
"This is great, I really appreciate this," said a smiling Bolt, who, like Fraser-Pryce, returned from the IAAF World Championships held in Moscow in August as a triple gold medallist after claiming the sprint double before helping the country to the 4x100m relay sweep.
Not to be left out, Cunningham - the face of disabled sport in Jamaica - was supreme at the International Paralympics World Championships held in Lyon in July, winning the gold medal in the men's F52/53 javelin competition, after breaking the record three times; first with 22.13m, then 22.71m, before closing the record books with a 24.30m fling.
Digicel CEO Barry O'Brien, clearly a fan of the trio, was beaming as he spoke to the company's partnership with the international superstars and its commitment to continuing to support and unearth talent in the island.
"They really are truly extraordinary people," O'Brien offered in a clear play on the company's 'Be Extraordinary' tagline. "Usain (Bolt) and Shelly-Ann (Fraser-Pryce) have been with us for a long time and Alphanso (Cunningham) was added to that. These are world-class people who are famous all around the world and Digicel is lucky to have them as ambassadors."
"They are a perfect match for our brand, with their global recognition and in truth at this point they are more like family at this stage," he added. "I think we get lucky sometimes, but we do go out there and try to unearth the talent; any company in the world would love these athletes as ambassadors, they are global superstars, and I am so honoured to meet them myself, too."
SIGNed WITH DIGICEL AS A TEENAGER
Bolt, like the others, spent much of the night shaking hands under the flash of eager cameras. First signed by Digicel as a teenager long before his senior campaign of world domination, he, too, was pleased with the partnership's growth over the years.
"It's wonderful, it's a joy to know that you have partners who support you from day one and you, in part, help to put us on the map and they come and show their appreciation for you like this, so for me, I really appreciate this," said Bolt, in-between mixing with an 'A' list of media personalities, entertainers and corporate heavyweights.
Fraser-Pryce, who registered the most dominant season ever by a Jamaican sprinter, adding the Diamond League 100m and 200m title plus world leads in the 100m and 200m.
"This was well received, and I am grateful for the fact that they (Digicel) welcomed us home in this fashion. It has been very good and I am loving the support," said Fraser-Pryce.
Cunningham was also appreciative of the gesture and lauded Digicel for considering the disabled community.
"It's a great gesture because Digicel has embraced persons with disability but not only that but persons who have contributed and given back to their country, just to show recognition and I'm truly grateful," Cunningham said.