A Champion’s Heart of Gold

bolt

 

Usain Bolt certainly doesn’t need my applause. He is the world’s darling. But there’s so much more to this man than the world sees.

bolt2The thing that impresses me the most is his humanity. Fame and fortune have not gone to his head. Far from it.

The “world’s fastest man” is one of the most unassuming and modest human beings you will ever meet. And more.

To go with those Olympics gold medals, he has a heart of gold.

He performs acts of kindness wherever he goes. On a visit to Brazil last year, for example, he joined blind Paralympic sprinting champion Terezinha Guilhermina as her guide in an exhibition (top photo).

It wasn’t a publicity stunt. He does that kind of thing all the time. Without fanfare. Without any ulterior motive. He is just that kind of guy.

Like so many other sports millionaires, Bolt has a charitable foundation of his own. It promotes educational and cultural development in Jamaica. Last year, the foundation gave $1.3 million to his former high school, for example.

He built a sports complex in Jamaica, raised funds for pediatric cardiac surgery, and paid $4 million to renovate a local health center…

His acts of kindness go on and on.

Indeed, police in Jamaica had to ask him to stop handing out money to strangers as it was causing “violence.”

Bolt gives not just his money but his time.

He sponsors – and personally participates in –  treats for Jamaican children, especially sporting events. And he takes the time to mentor up-and-coming Jamaican track stars.

It’s all part of a pattern.

As his mother, Jennifer (pictured above, with dad Wellesley), told one of the multitude of global media interviewers seeking an insight into Bolt’s nature:

He’s trying to get everyone to love because… he has gotten a lot of love. He likes to share some of that joy with others.

Peace and love, Usain. Peace and love. All the world, especially we Jamaicans, share your joy.

 Bolt’s biography

Jamaica’s sprinting legacy

gwgraeme

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 Jamaicans.com

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