Bolt contemplates return to church
Legendary sprinter Usain Bolt (left) looks on as Pastor Karl Archer (second right) addresses the Inter-American Division (IAD) of Seventh-day Adventists' fifth Pathfinder Camporee at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium, Wednesday. (Photo: Horace Hines)

FLORENCE HALL, Trelawny – Legendary sprinter Usain Bolt says he has been contemplating returning to the Seventh-day Adventist flock after he stopped attending some years ago to pursue his athletics dream.

The iconic athlete's parents are members of the Sherwood Content Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trelawny.

"I started when I was younger, but because of track and field I couldn't follow in that way. But I am always there and give back to help the church as much as possible.

"It is something they pressing me about, and I definitely sit and think about it. Even me and NJ (Nugent Walker, his manager and boyhood friend) talk about it, but it is just time because you want to make sure when you go it's all the way. So it's just time," Bolt told the Jamaica Observer.

He was in attendance Wednesday on the second of the five-day Inter-American Division (IAD) of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) fifth Pathfinder Camporee at Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium.

Said Bolt: "I am here provide the youths with some encouragement and explain to them that everything is possible; bring joy and uplift their spirits. My mother is a big Seventh-day Adventist so I am just happy to be here to show support," he said.

Wild cheers greeted Bolt as he walked onto the platform to give a motivational talk.

"I am just here to give you some encouraging words to always work hard and never give up. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams. I am from the country, I never knew I would be this great, but I continued working and pushing hard," Bolt said to deafening cheers.

"God gave me a talent and I used it to the best of my ability. So I just want to say give all the glory to God. Enjoy the conference."

President of the North Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Churches Pastor Karl Archer was encouraged by the staging of the event in Trelawny, which falls under his leadership.

"This is the fifth one, first time in an English-speaking country. It is great that a lot of my people can get to come and share in this amazing programme. It's great," Archer said.

Bolt was also impressed by the overwhelming support at the event.

"When I came here I was really shocked to see how big it was. I never knew it was this big," he conceded.

He was presented with the IAD presidential golden medal during his visit to the Camporee.

Bolt, who holds world records in the 100 metre and 200 metre, as well as the 4x100m relay, has eight Olympic and 11 World Championships gold medals.

BY HORACE HINES Observer writer

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