“Usain Bolt is now Jamaica’s biggest ambassador. His personality, his ability to draw people to him (and) his showmanship have really given a boost to Brand Jamaica,” he said.
Mr. Holness was speaking to reporters at the Caribbean premiere of the film at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston yesterday (December 6).
The Prime Minister praised the triple Olympic champion and world record holder for his achievements and contributions to the sport of track and field.
“His achievements on the field, tied with his personality and being able to do this while remaining clean (of performance-enhancing drugs), puts him way above the rest, and he is truly not just a Jamaican hero, but a global hero,” he said.
“(Usain) is a national treasure, an asset for us and a great ambassador, but he is also a great representation of what we can do as humans by working very hard, being committed and maintaining principles,” he added.
Prime Minister Holness said the Government is looking to meet with Bolt to discuss ways in which his popularity and contributions can be further leveraged in line with the push for economic growth.
I Am Bolt looks at the legacy of the fastest man alive and documents his rise to dominance, featuring interviews with his coach, manager, agent, colleagues and family.
The glitzy red-carpet premiere was attended by government officials, political and business leaders, athletes, entertainment practitioners, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as family, associates and fans of Usain Bolt.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, in her address, emphasised the value of the movie, as well as of Bolt’s legacy, to Brand Jamaica.
“At the centre of Brand Jamaica is Usain Bolt. So tonight is really a very special night for us. Usain Bolt is a legend and it is something that we have to cherish and we have to recognise and we have to say thanks for,” she said.
Usain Bolt, who spoke ahead of the airing of the film, said he hopes it would allow his supporters to appreciate the journey of his career and understand the struggles, the work he put in and who he is as a person.
“It’s always thanks for the support; I hope (you) really enjoy the film and appreciate the good times and the tough times. Thanks for the love. It was a brilliant career and I am looking forward to the next season, doing great things as always,” he said.
I Am Bolt premiered at the Odeon in London’s Leicester Square on November 28.
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