Usain our champion forever: Jamaica sports minister

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt makes his trademark gesture during a lap of honor at the end of the World Athletics Championships in London Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017.
Associated Press / Matt Dunham

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport was swift and decisive about responding to an apology Usain Bolt, the island’s star sprinter made following his ill-fated, final race at the IAAF World Championships in London last Saturday.

“Today, we witnessed the final act in the competitive athletic career of Usain Bolt.

It didn’t go according to plan as he collapsed with an injury while anchoring the Jamaica team in the 4×100 metres. He apologized to his team mates and all of Jamaica as he limped off the track.

I do not accept his apology.

Like his team mates, I will also say to Usain, there is no need for an apology because he gave everything — as he’s always done.

Instead, I would ask Usain to accept our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

I would ask him to accept our gratitude for an amazing career which raised our national profile; a career in which he proudly carried his Jamaican-ness around the world; a career which contributed much to development of a sport industry in Jamaica; a career which rescued global athletics.

I believe we all have been honored to watch Usain do extraordinary things for the better part of the last 15 years. He redefined speed and brought great entertainment to world athletics.

His impressive records might be broken one day, but his place in our hearts is secured forever.

We will forever remember his breathtaking brilliance.

Usain will forever be our champion.”

Bolt’s British champion ally Mo Farah also suffered a blistering loss when he lost his bid for a fifth major championship victory.

The most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, he is the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medalist in both the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres.

For Sir Mo, the games were intended to be his last and final run.

He placed a disappointing second in the 500m.

“It has definitely hit me. I got emotional on Saturday night. All good things in life must come to an end at some point. What goes up must come back down. I wanted to end on a high. But it happens. The better man won on the day. That’s part of athletics.” The Somalia-born athlete said.

“To beat Mo, it’s taken them six years to do it but you’ve got to give it to them,” the retiring athlete said.

Mo Farah is the most decorated athlete in British athletic history, with ten global titles. He is the first British athlete to win two gold medals at the same world championships,

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2017 New Year honors for services to athletics.

He was also appointed commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2013.

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