Bolt back to training

Friday, 31 October 2008 After month-long celebration, Bolt looking forward to resume training

Usain Bolt signing autographs for young fans in Trelawny (Paul Reid)
Martha Brae, Trelawny, Jamaica - Triple Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt is eagerly looking forward to return to the regimen of training as Olympic celebrations and appearances drag out more than two months after the last race was run in Beijing.

It has been almost non-stop activity for the 22-year-old including a week-long official celebration put on by the Jamaican government since he returned to the Island on 8 September to a rapturous welcome, and he is starting to show signs of getting tired of it all.

On Wednesday he and Olympic teammate Marvin Anderson were honoured by their former high school William Knibb Memorial in a ceremony that lasted well over three hours including a brief interruption by a swiftly moving shower of rain.

In a short interview with members of the media after receiving citations and donating hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of educational and sporting equipment to several schools, Bolt said he was looking forward to the rigours and structure of pre-season training.

“I am looking forward to getting back into training because the past few weeks have been kinda stressful,” he said while signing autographs for children from several area schools.

“When I am in training I will be forced to stay home and not be flying all over the place and doing all kinds of things, I am looking forward to that.”

Bolt who has left the Island three times since he returned, once for a short vacation to another Caribbean Island and the others for promotional appearances on several American television sports channels and variety shows.

Bolt, who lowered the World Records in the 100m and 200m to 9.69 and 19.30 and ran the third leg on the Jamaican quartet that broke the World Record in the 4x100m Relay with a 37.10 run in Beijing, said, “The constant flying everywhere and (appearances) have been very hectic, and I am looking forward to the regimen of training.” He added that he did not get as much rest as he would have liked in order to get ready for what are usually tough pre-season work outs.

He also pointed out that despite the constant demand on his time, “I need to have my own life as well and try to enjoy myself and I know that once I get back to training everything will be ok.”

Bolt has at least one more long trip planned before the end of the year when he will travel to Monaco for the IAF World Athletics Gala in late November.

The highlight of the 2009 season will be the IAAF World Championships in Berlin and when asked how he might top his triple gold medal and World Record performance from Beijing, Bolt said he always intend to perform at his optimum and he will be gearing to do just that in Berlin.

On Wednesday, Bolt and Anderson, with the help of several corporate sponsors, donated computers, a refrigerator, track shoes, cricket gear, knap sacks and gym equipment to several schools as well as cellular telephones and gift baskets to several individuals including former teachers, coaches, the school’s grounds man and bus driver.

Paul Reid for the IAAF

The Gleaner (what a great name for a newspaper:p )

Denise Reid, Staff Reporter

Triple Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Usain Bolt, and Jamaican track team member Marvin Anderson, made a grand entrance and even grander presentations to the schools which helped to mould them on their journey to stardom.

There was great excitement among members of the student body from William Knibb Memorial High (Knibb), Waldensia Primary, Duncans All-Age and Westwood High schools when the track athletes alighted from a helicopter on the playing field of William Knibb on Wednesday morning.

After being honoured through poetry, song and dance with pieces such as Krystle Kerr’s ‘Tribute to the Trelawny Titans’ and Waldensia Primary’s original tribute to Bolt in which students sang and deejayed - whipping the crowd into a frenzy - the athletes made a few presentations of their own.

Both Bolt and Anderson encouraged children to take school seriously. Anderson stressed the importance of education, stating that along with talent and intelligence, it is pertinent to one’s development.

“Even if you’re not talented, it’s ok to be a fireman, it’s ok to be a teacher, it’s ok to be a policeman,” he added.

Through corporate sponsorship, the pair made many donations to their past schools.

Bolt donated a refrigerator to Waldensia Primary, courtesy of Courts. The school was previously without one. In addition, the self-proclaimed ‘cricket lover’ also donated cricket gear to the school to help in sports training, while Anderson donated three computers and a printer to Duncans All-Age.

Much to be grateful for

With 10 new computers, courtesy of Scotiabank, students at William Knibb have much to be grateful for, and the track team, which increased from 35 to 70 students this school year, has been given a boost which will hopefully lead to greatness, with a myriad of donations.

The team was given 60 Reebok caps, bags, shirts and watches, courtesy of Reebok, Anderson’s sponsor. Additionally, they received gym equipment (which was handed over previously by Bolt), 50 pairs of track shoes and $100,000 worth of food and drinks each term from National Meats.

“We just decided that we need to do something for our school,” said Bolt, explaining the motivation behind the initiative. The Olympic champion said when the opportunity presents itself, he plans to mentor and support students at the school as much as possible. He said this is not something that is exclusive to William Knibb, but he seeks to give support to other schools as well.

Anderson shared similar sentiments with The Gleaner, explaining: “William Knibb is very dear to Usain and myself, we are blessed in a way to get certain opportunities, and we want to share it with the school so that other kids here can have the resources to use and excel as well.”

William Knibb’s principal, Diana Wynter, expressed much joy for the contributions the school received.

“I am very excited, especially for the track team, and hope that the children will really put it to good use because to whom much is given, much is expected.”

She said the athletes’ involvement is already showing positive results as formerly, after each internal track meet, coaches had to beg students to train and attend outside meets, but now the track team has increased.