Bolt has done more than enough

by

August 12, 2017
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Having taken a few days to digest Usain Bolt's defeat in the 100m final in the IAAF World Championships in London, I can't seem to find any good reason to be disappointed, albeit I was hoping that he would have ended on a high with another gold medal.

I must admit that while watching the build-up to the race and realising that it was going to be Bolt's last individual race, it got so emotional for me that it was the sound of the gun that jolted me back into the moment.

In looking back at all that Bolt has done for Jamaica and global track and field since 2008, the trip to London, in my opinion, amounts to a bonus offering, which for me was more about saying 'farewell' and 'thank you' to the fans than any hungry desire to grab another gold medal.

A CLASS ACT

I believe what unfolded was a wonderful 'teachable moment' for the millions of persons who watched the event via television and those who were watching inside the stadium. It allowed us to see another side of Bolt, that showed us that he is not only a phenomenal champion but also a class act.

While we had grown accustomed to seeing how Bolt handled himself in his many victories over the years, we have never had the chance to see him handling defeat with the dignity and poise he showed after the race. It was the same happy-go-lucky Bolt with the joyful swag, which exemplifies the essence of good sportsmanship.

What I found particularly pleasing was his noble gesture in congratulating Justin Gatlin and putting his arms around his shoulder, as if he was shielding him from the boos that were coming out of the stands. It not only showed his humanity and decency but also left no doubt that he was the product of proper upbringing.

Since his 100m defeat, I have heard some people expressing the view that he should heed his father's advice and postpone his retirement for at least another major championship. According to them, they are convinced that with the right preparation, he could still give them the fairy-tale ending they were hoping for in London.

I believe Bolt should follow his heart and walk away because as far as I am concerned, he has already done more than enough. His place in history is already secure. No one can seriously question that he is the greatest athlete that has ever graced the planet.

JUSTICE TO HIS LEGACY

My focus now is whether or not the nation will do his legacy justice, as we are yet to see a single monument in his home parish - Trelawny. It is against that background that I am again asking that the following be done:

1) Name the roadway from Duncans to the Martha Brae the Usain Bolt Highway

2) Rename the William Knibb High School the Usain Bolt High School

3) Add a running track to the Trelawny Stadium and rename it the Usain Bolt Stadium

4) Erect a statue of Bolt in Water Square, in Falmouth

5) Create a Usain Bolt Museum in Sherwood Content.

I believe if those five recommendations are embraced and implemented, it would fill the void for a marquee tourism attraction in Trelawny, which has nothing to offer cruise ship passengers, except a lovely roadway to the attractions in neighbouring St Ann and St James.

As a past student of William Knibb High School and a Trelawny native, it gives me a great sense of pride that I have something in common with this great man. His three consecutive Olympic Games sprint double (100m and 200m) titles, seven individual IAAF World Championships gold medals and his two amazing world records are more than a source of great pride.

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