KINGSTON, NOVEMBER 10
Another award for Usain Bolt and we say WOW! But this one has far reaching implications for the Jamaican track and field superstar. The coveted Face of Travel Award was presented at the World Travel Awards Show in London on November 7.
Usain's extraordinary performance on the track has earned him several sport-related awards highlighting the fact that he has positively impacted on track and field over the last two years. He has continued the rich Jamaican tradition of excellence in sport pioneered by Herb McKenley, Don Quarrie, Merlene Ottey and so many others.
Usain and the current set of athletes have caused the eyes of the world to be staring at Jamaica and they ask "Why do Jamaicans run so fast?" When we find out, we won't tell you (smile)
Back to the Face of Travel Award....award for the icon who has contributed significantly to travel and tourism in 2010; this is a BIG thing and should be celebrated. When this lanky (not so lanky anymore) Jamaican track and field star beats out fellow sport stasr David Beckham & Rafael Nadal along with Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger; Hollywood elites, Kevin Costner and Kevin Spacey & Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickenson...I just think it is a BIG deal.
David Beckham earned appreciation for boosting his country’s tourism profile as he served as ambassador for England's 2018 World Cup bid. The tennis ace Rafael Nadal is also among the favorites to win the “Face of Travel” award as he actively supported a sport tourism campaign in his native Balearic Islands. Last year, he had won the title "World Tennis Player of the Year" at the World Sports Awards. Usain Bolt was featured in the Jamaica Tourist Board's campaign - Once you go, you know.
This therefore says Brand Jamaica is STRONGER than ever and Usain's impact is showing his diversity as a BRAND himself. What is also amazing, is Usain's season was cut short because of an injury but he remained in the news with the launch of his illustrated autobiography in September.
Bolt has received a set of awards, not directly realted to sport including being listed in Ebony's 65th anniversary edition as one of the best athletes in 65 years. The other Caribbean athlete is Sir Vivian Richards. He was also listed for Essence as Eye Candy - Hotties under 30; while askmen.com profiled him as the second most popular male figure beating US President, Barack Obama.
Usain in the off-season has added 30 per cent more fans to his facebook page totalling now over 2.5 million fans and pulls a crowd wherever he goes. His exploits on and off the track serve up a balanced meal with all the elements involved, not without some distractions, which are manageable.
We salute Usain and look forward to Daegu 2011 and London 2012.