Monday, September 8, 2008

Welcome home Usain!!

Welcome home Usain! As I write, the press conference is underway at the Pegasus. There is Usain, sitting beside Prime Minister Golding. He has just enjoyed a tribute from Mavado, moving from his official place to drop a few dance moves and shake the singer's hand.

Now the wonderful Howard Aris, JAAA President is addressing the group. We see the presence of various brands, happy to be associated - the choir Apex in Digicel shirts, Usain in Puma and a welcome sign from Pegasus.

Aris is congratulating Coach Glen Mills - he is mentioning World Champs in Berlin next year, and Korea in two years. "Learning as a nation to pull together to unite" - thank sponsors, Government and media, parents, families, JAAA.

While waiting for the conference the TV stations treated us to footage of the victories in Beijing - so very moving.

Now JOA Pres Mike Fennell is speaking - "created history in so many different ways ...filled with pride as a Jamaican ... in the midst ... Jamaica shone as she had never shone before ... Usain not only an outstanding athlete, but a superb entertainer ... brought the crowd alive ... created a sparkle ... can feel proud of the image of Ja ... no negative, only positive ... all other athletes ... wonderful team effort ... Usain - we're looking for more - you haven't peaked yet."

Minister Grange introduced Mr and Mrs Bolt, manager Norman Peart. Special recognition of Glen Mills and Mark Linehan, Digicel CEO.

Don Anderson: of the 205 Chefs de Missions in Beijing, I am the proudest. Privileged - finest bunch of athletes in terms of discipline, focus - ambassadors - stage was set by Usain - 100m - 2nd night of Track & Field - set the stage - every other athlete wanted to emulate - Usain, you were the catalyst - every 50 years, an athlete emerges - a phenomenon - Usain is a phenomenal athlete. Glen Mills "one of the finest coaches in the world". Silk Market - couple of years ago - people didn't know - but now evening before departure - where are you from - Jamaica - Number One! Capture that and take full advantage. Supremely confident individual - 350 journalists - handled himself well - true diplomat.

PM Golding - Want to say to you - don't need to say how happy, how much joy, excitement, pride you have brought to the people of Ja - not for a long time have the Ja people have been as enraptured, excited - you saw it for yourself this afternoon. What you saw was not organised - didn't plan - real event - Oct 3 - said to the media "a little motorcade" - you have captured the hearts of the Ja people - commanded their love -- banging on the window in love and admiration -- not just that you performed well - you did - Carl Lewis broke now record - 1936 - Jesse Owens - never won an individual - power of Trelawny yam - Jamaica is proud of you - not only are we capable but we ARE the best in the world - started putting together the plans to celebrate - won 7 combined - wish Herb McKenley was in that front row - great pioneers who blazed that trail - smiling with pride.

PM Golding continues ... October - massive salute at Stadium - each Olympian spending time in their own communities - not just a four-day celebration - find a meaningful, enduring way to commemorate our success - institutional dev of athlet in particu but sports in general.

PM: Asafa - we have to honour him too - Usain - you are the best in the world - we are proud of the excitement you have brought - when you win - you have earned the right - whether you want to do "Nuh Linger" or "Gully Creeper" - you have earned it - you have brought that spirit alive - Jamaicans are looking to you - send a message, a signal to our young people - they have dreams but fearful they will not materialise - do everything you can to inspire them - will look at a new generation of energy and purposefulness - tribute to coach Glen Mills - if we have the fastest man in the world coached by a Jamaican, we have the best coach in the world - tribute to parents and family - there is a foundation that was laid - parents - love they have shown - success that all of us can claim - many countries in the world that would want to boast about this - Jamaica has it - God Bless You!

Artist Delroy Haye presents a painting of Bold striding on track.

Babsy's request of Usain - "we want the spikes" -

Bolt speaks: "To the world!" Thank you - can't explain how I feel - glad I came home first - thank everybody - continue to keep Ja on top - working hard to keep the country proud - gave his "Lightning Bolt" move

Q&A - USAIN - re criticism - doesn't matter what people say - I go out there and perform for the people. Word to the gunmen - heard [violence]has slowed down - unity right now - keep positive - work hard - find another way - don't resort to violence - didn't come overnight - takes time to get to the top - take time and you'll get there - two best - Tyson and Asafa "I'm looking forward to it - I'm ready - they're looking forward and I am looking forward - they're coming faster - I have a lot more in me - so I'm looking forward to it . Chilling - just happy to be home. Thank my Coach - You're the Greatest!

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