Miramar, FL – July 15, 2023. – A statue of Jamaican sprint legend, Usain Bolt, was unveiled at the Ansin Sports Complex, in Miramar, Florida on Saturday, July 15, a first in the City’s Art in Public Places initiative, proposed by Vice Mayor Alexandra P. Davis. The charismatic record-holding Olympic and World Champion was cheered by thousands who were present to mark the historic occasion.
In a brief ceremony, Vice Mayor Davis spoke about the importance of Art in Public Places and the impact of the achievements of Bolt, and how his image at the Ansin Sports Complex will inspire aspiring athletes to strive towards achieving their goals. Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Sport, Entertainment and Gender, Olivia “Babsy” Grange commented on the great accomplishments of Usain Bolt and how deserving the placement of a monument in his honor. The Minister commended Vice Mayor Davis and the City of Miramar for the magnificent gesture.
Renowned sculptor Basil Watson created the monument which he named “To The World II” featuring Usain Bold kneeling in his iconic pose. Watson commented that the statue was created to capture the most timeless inspirational image of the athlete to be enjoyed by future generations.
In a press conference following the unveiling, Bolt told reporters that he was honored and proud to represent Jamaica on the world stage and urged all young athletes to “work hard, be dedicated, and know that anything can happen.” Vice Mayor Davis and the Miramar Commission proclaimed July 14th as Usain Bolt Day in the City of Miramar and presented him with the proclamation.
The night before the unveiling, the City staged a Fundraising Banquet for the Usain Bolt Foundation and the Do the Right Thing Foundation – Miramar, where over 260 guests attended.
Mayor Wayne Messam presented Bolt with the Key to the City of Miramar and other elected officials made presentations including Broward County Commissioner Hazelle Rogers, and Lauderhill Commissioner Denise D. Grant. Minister Grange accompanied by Consul General Oliver Mair and members of the Jamaican delegation who traveled for the occasion also made a presentation to Usain. The Minister was joined on stage by Mr. Garth Gayle, President of Jamaica Administration and Athletics Association; Mr. Keith Wellington, Jamaica Inter-secondary Schools Association; Mr. Christopher Samuda, President, Jamaica Olympic Association and Para Olympics Association and Mr. Ali McNab, CD – Chairman Jamaica Special Olympics organization.
Comedian Chris “Johnny” Daley had the audience in stitches as he worked the room with humorous commentary on the worldwide popularity of Usain Bolt and it’s impact on Jamaica similar to that of Bob Marley. Nadine Sutherland’s performance of her hits had everyone singing and dancing, but the room erupted when she was joined on stage by Consul General Oliver Mair and Usain Bolt for the performance of the mega-hit “Action”, where the trio danced the “Stir fry”. Autographed items, including Bolt’s iconic gold spikes worn at the Olympic games as well as relay batons and other items, were quickly purchased during the silent auction.
Sports Anchor, Donovan Campbell of WSVN 7 handled the MC duties with grace and humour. Campbell interrupted his vacation to fly in for the occasion and told the audience that as a Brooklyn-born Jamaican-American who grew up in Miramar, he was quite delighted and honored by the opportunity.