Letters to the Editor

Greatness speaks for itself

Thursday, August 16, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

Usain Bolt is undoubtedly a phenomenal athlete, and one such as he may never be seen again. He is a living legend and should be honoured and recognised as such. He has also earned the right to be a bit cocky and arrogant because he is the best sprinter the world has ever known. Notwithstanding this, there are some traits Bolt has acquired that ought not to be emulated by our youngsters, and this is where my concerns lie in light of his understandable popularity.

Greatness speaks for itself. It is rare that one hears a truly great person in any field being the one to broadcast his own greatness. Likewise, others should be the ones to proclaim Bolt to be a living legend - certainly not Bolt himself. His management team needs to explain this to Usain - and quickly.

The great Glen Mills is one that Bolt himself could emulate in this regard. He is truly great as a coach, but has anyone ever heard him proclaim that? Has Mr Mills ever given interviews that he will always be the greatest coach this earth has ever seen? His accomplishments off the track are legendary, but has he been the one to say this? His results speak for themselves, as should those of Usain Bolt.

As stated, while Bolt has earned the right to be cocky, humility is a trait that most truly great men or women possess and it is a trait that Bolt should try to learn or familiarise himself with. It is a trait that should be encouraged in our society and Bolt's example in this regard does not support this.

I was particularly struck by Bolt's reaction after the relay victory as, immediately after the race, he seemed far more caught up with basking in the individual glory than seeking out his teammates who had contributed to the victory to both thank and congratulate them.

While one would hope that youngsters in Jamaica - and the world - try to emulate Usain Bolt on the track, it is my hope that good parents try to teach their children that while Bolt is great, there are many of his antics and characteristics off the track that they could well do without. I love Usain, but true love is not blind, and criticism such as this is simply meant for his long-term benefit and the benefit of those that he will influence along the way.

Rocky Anderson




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