Thursday, 24 April 2014

MAN OF THE MOMENT: With record-breaking prospects and active philanthropy, Bolt season is just warming up

JUST KIDS: The iconic sportsman giving a pep talk to attentive wards at the Alpha Boys' Home.

Even at the height of preparations for the rigorous international track-and-field season ahead, society's less fortunate are never far from the mind of the World's Fastest Man, whose mission to positively impact young lives through the Usain Bolt Foundation recently took him and his managers to the Kingston-based Alpha Boys' Home, where the lads were more than happy to receive wise words of encouragement from the iconic sportsman and trendy athletic gear courtesy of PUMA. "It's a joy for me to be able to give back," the sprinting powerhouse reportedly shared with The Gleaner. "Honestly, it's the greatest part of my success to be able to give back."

Without doubt, it's this very humanitarian approach to his star power that continues to endear Usain Bolt to Jamaican fans of all ages and backgrounds, whether they're aspiring footballers in Sherwood Content or budding university undergrads hailing from Portland.

Bolt season (mid-April to December) is upon us yet again so we are going to be seeing and hearing a lot more from the track superstar who is finally turning 28 in August. As in years past, much of the sports-desk conversation surrounding Bolt these days has to do chiefly with his physical capacity (at this stage of his career) to break his own world records. "I have discussed with my coach what it will take to lower these records, and he thinks it is very possible," Bolt noted recently, according to online reports, referring to his 100M and 200M sprint records. "I trust my coach completely, so if Coach Mills says they can be broken then I know I can lower them."

And in other Bolt news, the CMC reports that the Jamaican Olympic champ is set to join his peers at the IAAF World Indoor Relays in The Bahamas next month, and is also scheduled to grace the track at sizzling meets this summer in the Czech Republic, France and Sweden. And if that's not enough, Bolt has signed on as the face of Visa's Brazil World Cup promotional campaign and will appear in their TV ad (premiering next month across some 22 markets globally.

And if you thought his unfortunate foot injury from a weeks ago would have stymied him any, think again. He's fully back in stride. "Setbacks are a part of track-and-field. I have come to accept that a long time ago," the five-time World Male Athlete of the Year conceded. "I had mine and now I'm back in training preparing for the upcoming season."

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