I can empathise with those who were stunned by the sight of Usain parading with a non-Jamaican flag, because that was my initial reaction until I realised that it was the Italian flag and the venue was Rome. I am sure it was impulsive and not planned.
Usain does not have to wear the "black, green and gold" to identify with Jamaica. To over 90 per cent of the world's population, he is Jamaica and Jamaica is him. But what that single act of his did was to win the heart of every single Italian on this planet, just as he did for every single Yankee fan in New York recently and he did for every Manchester United fan in Manchester, England.
His generosity of spirit in sharing his moment of glory with his host country was simply brilliant. By the way, did people observe whose photo adorned the countless fluttering white flags being waved before his race, no doubt by Italians? It was of none other than Usain Bolt.
26 Duke Street