Usain Bolt returned to Jamaica this week after heading to Brussels, Belgium for the Van Damme memorial last Friday. Bolt captured another first place medal to cap off his sensational summer, and ended his journey at Norman Manley Airport in Kingston. Fellow Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell took second in the Van Damme, with Nesta Carter taking third.
To say that Bolt received a hero’s welcome would be a vast understatement. With medals stored safely away, Usain Bolt slowly made his way through a throng of enthusiastic supporters at the gates. One can only imagine the adrenaline rush surging in Bolt after being greeted by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, and other national leaders.
From Times Online:
They don’t like to do things fast here in Jamaica – except, of course, for their sprinting – and Bolt’s movement from tarmac to car and by motorcade to the centre of town was a five-mile journey that took over an hour.
There is little underestimating the effect that Bolt and his fellow Jamaican kings and queens of speed have had on their nation. His journey into Kingston yesterday was given a live commentary by KLAS Sports Radio, as if it was a royal wedding, occasionally breaking to play one of the many songs that the island’s reggae artists had composed in that glorious August.
The hurricane season has not battered Jamaica this year. The summer also proved a powerful moment in the country’s history, with the Olympic track and field team tallying nine medals in sprint events. It was the first time Jamaican track won gold medals in the 100 and 200-meter races. Usain Bolt has benefited most from the recent fame, most recently accepting an invitation to appear on CBS’s David Letterman show on September 24th.
Usain Bolt will not be able to solve the country’s poverty problems, or address the perpetual violence in the nation, but the day he returned there were no murders reported. Apparently, the swell of pride even reached the criminals.