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View From 'The Voice': Bolt and Mills inspire pride

HONOUR: From left - Usain Bolt, 'Voice' Managing Director Paulette Simpson, coach Glen Mills and JN Bank's Leon Mitchell at our charity dinner and auction in honour of the sports icons last Sunday July 16 (image credit: Ken Passley)

LAST SUNDAY saw an array of top names from the world of sports, business, the arts and politics join The Voice and JN Bank as we hosted a celebratory charity auction and dinner to honour Usain Bolt and his coach Glen Mills.

Excitement and anticipation characterised the build-up to the event at London’s iconic Dorchester Hotel. The buzz surrounding Bolt’s and Mills’ appearance wasn’t just because many of the invited guests were looking forward to the chance of meeting the jovial champion and his popular coach in person.

The timing of the event was poignant. It marked Usain Bolt’s final public appearance before his retirement from athletics following next month’s World Athletics Championships in London. Bolt and Mills’ decision to dedicate their time and efforts to raising money for future Jamaican athletes, left the audience with no doubt about their commitment to investing in future generations of talented Jamaican youth.

In doing so, the duo didn’t just inspire a celebratory atmosphere in what was without doubt a dazzling event. They inspired tangible collective pride in all that the pair have achieved in the eyes of the world.

‘Lightning Bolt’ began to endear himself to sporting aficionados at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston. Dubbed the fastest man in the world years later, Bolt not only cements Jamaica’s standing as a progenitor of enviable talent and industry, he also embodies what we wish all sportsman-turned-celebrities would be – real. Bolt’s work ethic, humility, infectiously happy demeanour and popularity not just among Jamaicans but many people across the world and his willingness to give fans his time and resources, are qualities that are a source of inspiration for our community.

Despite never having won a major athletics medal himself, Glen Mills’ athletes have won an incredible 71 medals at the IAAF World Championships and 33 at Olympic competitions.

Both men represent the best that Jamaica can be in terms of using natural talent married with hard work, discipline and focus to be the best in the world.

That is why we are proud to salute Usain Bolt and Glen Mills.

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