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‘It’s a little disappointing’

Jennifer Bolt disheartened to miss Tokyo Olympics

Published:Friday | July 23, 2021 | 12:10 AMKavarly Arnold /Gleaner Writer
Usain Bolt hugs his mom, Jennifer Bolt, after Usain won the men’s 100m final at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing on Sunday, August 23, 2015.
Usain Bolt hugs his mom, Jennifer Bolt, after Usain won the men’s 100m final at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing on Sunday, August 23, 2015.

WESTERN BUREAU: Jennifer Bolt, mother of sprint legend Usain Bolt, says not being able to attend this year’s Olympic Games is a little disappointing, but she intends to be with the Jamaican team in spirit, cheering them on. Jennifer had become a...

WESTERN BUREAU:

Jennifer Bolt, mother of sprint legend Usain Bolt, says not being able to attend this year’s Olympic Games is a little disappointing, but she intends to be with the Jamaican team in spirit, cheering them on.

Jennifer had become a familiar face in the Olympic stands, wearing her black, green, and gold for over a decade while her only child brought the work to his feet. Last year, before the COVID-19 pandemic, she told The Gleaner that she missed the 2019 World Championships in Qatar only because her husband, Wellesley, was recovering from an illness and not due to the ‘sprint king’ hanging up his spikes in 2017.

“It is a little disappointing, but we can’t go anywhere because of the pandemic, so we will just have to stay home and watch it on the television. I’ll be watching it and cheering on the team. I will be there in spirit. I’ve already started watching some of the football and can’t wait for the rest (track and field),” Jennifer said.

The proud mom, who would have watched Shelly-Ann Frazer-Pryce reign alongside her son for a decade, is hoping that the ‘sprint queen’, who seems to be in the best form of her career, will deliver gold in what may well be her last Olympics.

“I’m happy for the team. I know the girls are doing excellent. I’m looking forward to Shelly getting the gold medal and know she will be doing her best,” said Jennifer, adding that she has been wishing the athletes good luck on social media even though she has not been able to see and talk to them in person since COVID-19.

“No, I haven’t spoken to any of them specially. If I was in Kingston and going to the track meets, we would talk like always, but because of the pandemic, and we are not close by, that doesn’t happen. However, when I see them on Facebook, I wish them good luck,” she said.

While she accepts that the male sprinters are not at their best, Jennifer is placing her belief in Usain’s former teammate and understudy, Yohan Blake.

“I hope things go in our favour, especially with the boys because they are not doing so well. I am hoping Yohan will medal. I’m wishing everyone will do their best because you know us Jamaicans love winning,” Jennifer said.

Blake is the second-fastest man of all time, with a personal best of 9.69 seconds in the 100 metres and 19.26 seconds in the 200 metres.

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympic Games takes place today.

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