BOLT – Man of the year

Lightning seems to strike twice in many ways for Usain Bolt. Breaking the 100m world record at a major championship, the Olympics in Beijing, China, in 2008, and doing the same a year later in 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Check.

Decimating the 200m world record in Beijing in 2008 and repeating the feat in 2009 in Berlin. Check again.

Now, he has done the same by copping the Gleaner’s 2009 Man of the Year Award for the second year in a row.

The accolade comes at the end of a successful season for Bolt, which saw his superstar status cemented around the world. Thus, it came as no surprise to those gathered at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge on the campus of the University of the West Indies in St Andrew yesterday for the annual Gleaner Honour Awards luncheon.

Such was the grandeur of his achievements this year that it would be impossible to look beyond Bolt for a winner of the prestigious award from the 175-year-old institution.

“It is always an honour,” a smartly dressed Bolt told those gathered for the occasion.

“I have been acknowledged by a lot of people overseas, but it is also a good thing to be acknowledged by a big company like The Gleaner. It shows that your work is actually being acknowledged by your fellow Jamaicans.”

The new caretaker of a cheetah cub was selected for the Man of the Year Award because of his outstanding achievements over the last year.

These included winning his first World Championships in Athletics gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

On top of winning other races in superlative times, he won over the hearts of many across the world, appearing on syndicated television shows such as Jimmy Fallon live, in the United States, racing with children in the streets of Thessaloniki, Greece, and visiting Kenya to adopt one of its endangered species, a cheetah.