10 April 2023 |
Pathfinders at the 5th Inter-American Pathfinders Camporee were delighted when sprinter and world record holder Usain Bolt showed up at Day Two of the Camporee in Trelawny, Jamaica.
According to The Jamaica Observer, Bolt’s parents are members of the Sherwood Content Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trelawny, and Bolt, himself, grew up in the Adventist faith.
“I started [as an Adventist] when I was younger,” said Bolt. “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.”
During his visit at the camporee, he was presented with the IAD presidential medal for his commitment and encouragement to the youth. The Inter-American Division (IAD) site shared his comments:
“It’s a pleasure to be here today,” said Bolt to loud applauses. “I am excited to be here before all you youngsters. You are here for a good cause that the church is doing.” Bolt encouraged them to “always work hard and never give up. Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams because I am from the country and I never dream to be this great, but I continue working and pushing hard and God gave me a talent and I used it to the best of my ability. Continue to work hard. Enjoy the Camporee. God bless you.”
After his speech, he agreed to race against two Pathfinders who challenged him. A group of kids ran behind him, enjoying the moment.
Bolt took time to take pictures with every union delegation before leaving the stadium in Trelawny. He mentioned that he sometimes considered coming back to the church, “but it is just time because you want to make sure when you go it’s all the way. So it’s just time,” he said.
For now, his focus is on the kids. “I am here to 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.