Bolt, Singapore & a JA track

Team Bolt and Minister at odds on Singapore payback trip

Posted by admin on Oct 25th, 2009

By Inside Track

Ambassador-at-Large Usain Bolt walks back after receiving the Order of Jamaica, the country’s fourth highest honour, at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony on October 19, 2009.
KINGSTON: A dilemma has arisen out of the seeming unavailability of triple world record holder, Usain Bolt, to visit Singapore to assist in the promotion of World Youth Games in that country next year. This has triggered statements from both his management team and the Minister of Sports, Mrs. Olivia Grange.

According to the Sports Minister, the Singapore private sector has pledged funds to repair the national stadium and its east field track where all the country’s locally based elite athletes do their preparations. As a result, they have requested that Jamaica send a delegation to assist in the promotion of the Games, special mention being made for the inclusion of Bolt.

Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Dexter Lee have signaled their intention to attend, the same response has not come from the Bolt handlers.

Media practitioner, Carole Beckford, speaking as publicist for the Berlin triple world champion, explains his position “Usain’s participation in the Singapore mission was always an issue based on his schedule”.

“There was always an attempt to fit in the seven days in which he was required, however, due to some previous commitments to sponsors, which is normal during this time of year, it was always proving to be difficult to fit the seven days in as was requested,” she explained.

“There are a number of events on Usain’s schedule September to November which are pre-arranged and he has to honor those based on contracts. The promoters of the Youth Olympics did contact the UB Management team and had requested Usain’s participation by use of his image to promote the event, that is still being worked on.”

“Bolt stands committed to be a part of any event/activity which aids in the development of track and field in Jamaica; all within reasonable time schedules,” concluded Beckford.

Minister Grange said discussion with Bolt’s management team to make the trip had started from January. “They did not say upfront that they wouldn’t go, in fact they suggested different times, the last suggestion is that it would possibly happen in November, the first week in November, then two weeks ago we were told they cannot go.”

Your Ad HereMinister Grange continued: “Jamaica does not have the money to repair the track, we have sourced the funds … we are in bi-lateral agreement with Singapore… The private sector in Singapore have agreed to pay for the work to be done, we in turn have agreed to go to Singapore with a delegation in helping them in promoting the first Youth Olympics.”

“They have asked us to come with a delegation, which would include the elite athletes who train on the track….they made specific request for Usain….Usain and his coach have spoken to me about the track and have asked us to try and do something quickly … Asafa has confirmed to go, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Dexter Lee have also confirmed to go”

“Usain has not yet confirmed, he may not make it although he is key in all of this, but whatever happens we are going to get the money and we are going to get the work done … I just want to reassure everybody that we are going to make sure we have it done.”

Asked if the negotiation to send Bolt will slow the progress of the repairs, Grange replied: “With all due respect to Usain Bolt, Jamaica is bigger than any individual, any one individual, no matter if you are the fastest person in the world and as the minister of sport I have a responsibility to find a way to get the job done … and so if Usain is not available or his management feels that it is not important for them to find a way to be involved, then that is their decision … but I have a responsibility to the development of track & field in Jamaica, I have a responsibility as the minister of sport to the government to ensure that government delivers what it has to … I have a responsibility to Jamaica and Jamaicans and to the young athletes … There are many more Usain Bolts coming up … There are many more Veronica Campbell-Browns and Asafas and I have a responsibility that it is all about Jamaica and the development of our athletes and not just about one individual.”

It certainly seems that Bolt or no Bolt, the resolve is that the deal is going to be cemented – repairs to the track and delegation on its way to Singapore – let us sincerely hope that it is a reality.

Imagine if you can expecting Bolt to devote 7 DAYS to such a project and then being pissed that he finds it hard to do. There are only so many days Bot can devote to sponsorship activities before it cuts into his training.
At this point, based on looking back 22 years to Bens ultimate fee of 225,000 a day, you can extrapolate to today’s Bolt price - surely now at least double, adding up to millions in a week.
It would be cheaper for Bolt to pay the whole shot himself to put in a new track than go with the political featherbedders for a week and forgo what he could make in the same period.
He is finding now what we found then. While such groups do sweet fuck-all for you on the way up, there is no end to what they think you should do for them if, by some fluke, you actually make it.

Only there was nothing “flukey” about the way you coached

I’m not suggesting that the coaching there is flukey, but, rather, the convergence of a few super-talents with the right training and the opening of doors outside Jamaica that provided, even before Bolt was near this status.