What Usain Bolt Is Doing For The World That Many Global Leaders Aren't
This past Christmas season, my family spent our holiday vacation in Jamaica. There were eight of us in total, including my six year-old son “Austen”, who was very excited to be visiting the home of “the fastest man alive.” You see, like many, Austen has contracted ‘Usain Bolt Fever’ and that fever has been running rampant in our household ever since Austen began competing in sports.
Needless-to-say, throughout the entire flight, Austen kept asking me if we were going to see Usain Bolt once we landed. The news that we probably wouldn’t ‘run into him’ during our stay didn’t seem to dampen Austen’s enthusiasm for his hero or the hallowed ground we would soon be walking on in the least. This was Bolt territory and Austen couldn’t believe he was going.
I must confess that my son’s thrill deepened my own for the entire excursion. It, also, set me to wondering what it must be like to be Usain Bolt or the “parents” who raised him -- knowing full-well that your son is idolized by so many other sons and daughters, large and small. With this in mind, I decided to reach out to Usain Bolt to ask him a few questions, with regards. I share his answers with all of you, below.
What is your personal mantra?
“Anything is possible.” I don't think limits.
If you had to pick a characteristic from your mother and a characteristic from your father that you are most grateful for having today, what would they be?
I like my Mother’s 'chilled out' approach and my Father’s work ethic.
What’s the ‘norm’ that happens in your head when you are sprinting?
Normally, I am just trying to react to the starter’s gun and execute the things I have been working on in training.
How do "you" remain human in a world that idolizes you?
I just try to be myself.
As an athlete who has navigated the highs and lows of achieving super stardom, what is the best piece of advice you can give kids who want to do the same?
It is important to work hard, get good advice, be disciplined, and have fun.
Who do you thank for where you are today?
I always thank the people who have helped me to achieve my goals.
What does long term happiness for Usain Bolt look like?
Friends, family, laughter.
Share a social cause or cause-based organization close to your heart.
I have the Usain Bolt Foundation which is dedicated to improving the lives of children.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
As one of the greatest sportsmen ever.
Since our return, Austen has shared with me several times just how much he loved our visit to Jamaica. He wants to go back and maybe, next trip, “we could meet Usain Bolt.” I told him I’d work on that. Right now, what stands out most to me, is just how much of an impact Usain Bolt has had on my young son, and I understand why.
This remarkable athlete is a beacon of accomplishment, perseverance and hope to kids around the world, all of whom are still eager to believe that “dreams can come true” despite the most dire of circumstances. And that’s really important because - the way this globe is looking - that is exactly the kind of environment our kids will be facing when their moment arrives. He’s an invaluable example for children everywhere, who’s doing more to unite this planet than many world leaders...just one more reason to adore him and to honor his parents with their own gold medal, if you ask me!
Many thanks to Usain Bolt and PACE Sports Management for making this interview possible