George Graham

One of the Good Guys



In a world where politicians, actors and sports stars – and celebrities of every stripe – seem to get more obnoxious every day, it’s refreshing to read about someone like Usain Bolt. Not because he is such a phenomenal talent, not because he wins again and again, against all odds. But because he seems to be a really nice person.

Every once in a while I come across a brief item in the news reinforcing that view. The other day, I read that he politely hushed a TV interviewer who was questioning him so they could acknowledge the playing of  the Star Spangled Banner, America’s National Anthem.

I know, it’s a small gesture, but I think it says a lot about the guy. In a word it says “respect,” which has become the greeting of choice for many Jamaicans.

And I am sure you have noticed how respect is vanishing from American politics and even America’s everyday life.

Bolt seems to display that respect – along with a self deprecating sense of humor – in dealing with the media and his fans. I don’t know him personally of course, but that’s the way it seems to me as I read about him.

This morning, for instance, I read that the world’s fastest human accepted an invitation to race a little Jamaican boy and pretended to be injured so the eight-year-old would win (photo above). The story not only highlighted Bolt’s gracious nature, it also introduced another Jamaican with a terrific personality. His name – you might want to remember it – is Demarjay Smith, and he could be a superstar himself some day.

Here’s the news item, as reported by SB Sports:

Chances are you’ve seen the YouTube video of Demarjay Smith acting like the next, biggest fitness video instructor.

Ellen DeGeneres caught on and had him on her show. Not only did she interview him about how he motivates other kids to exercise, she surprised him with an appearance from Usain Bolt (or in his words, “Houston Bolt”).

Bolt, being the kind-hearted adult that he is, feigned an injury and let Smith take the win.

Ellen invited the young Jamaican native, who now lives in the Bronx, on her show Tuesday after a video of him training his brother and a friend attracted more than 500,000 viewers on YouTube. Here’s why he said he started working out::

I started exercising, so I don’t get bullied and I have a cousin who was bullied about hus size and his weight so I had to do something about it.

You think this kid might be another Usain Bolt some day? If he is, I hope he grows up to be as nice a person as the superstar.

Click for the story.

Click for the YouTube video.

Click for Demarjay on Ellen’s show.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for