KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 18, CMC — Government will erect an eight-foot statue of Usain Bolt at Independence Park in honour of the sprint legend who plans to retire this August.
Describing the move as “a lasting tribute”, Sports Minister Olivia Grange said the statue would be finished by Jamaica’s Independence Day on August 6, in time to mark the final race of Bolt’s career at the World Championships in London from August 4-13.
“The Government of Jamaica has been recognising and saluting Bolt’s achievements throughout his career, and even as we speak we are completing a lasting tribute to this great son of Jamaica — an eight-foot statue that will be mounted at the Independence Park Complex,” Grange said.
“We are on schedule to complete this statue by Independence Day and to have the mounting coincide with Bolt’s final race at the World Championships in London.”
The 30-year-old Bolt is the finest sprinter in history and will lower the curtain on a glittering career at the World Championships, just days before his 31st birthday.
Last year, he became the first-ever athlete to sweep the sprint double at three successive Olympics when he dominated the Rio Games, en route to a record nine Olympic medals.
He also holds the 100 metres World record of 9.58 seconds and the 200m mark of 19.19.
Grange said Bolt had left an indelible mark on the sport and also on the world.
“We have said it many times: he is extraordinary, wonderful, he is fun, and he is truly amazing but I am not sure that we quite understand yet what a privilege it is for us to live in the time of Usain Bolt … to be around during the time of this legend,” Grange pointed out.
“In a way, he has spoilt us, not only Jamaicans, but he has spoilt the entire world. He represents tremendous talent, hard work, and he knows how to have fun. He has become the face of this sport and a genuinely great guy.”
She added: “He is supportive of other athletes, admires other athletes, and breaks and sets records like they are nothing. He is the biggest superstar … a superstar but very humble, and he is someone that you want to see succeed every time he does something.”