Bolt becomes ambassador

2009-11-14 07:35

JAMAICA (AFP) -The world's fastest man Usain Bolt has been honoured once again by his native Jamaica by being named an ambassador-at-large by Prime Minister Bruce Golding during a ceremony here.

Bolt, who in October was conferred with the Order of Jamaica, the country's fourth highest honour, was overjoyed by the latest accolade which saw him granted a diplomatic passport.

"So now I'm officially an ambassador. This is a big thing for me," said Bolt during the ceremony at Jamaica House.

Bolt set world records of 9.69sec (100m) and 19.30sec (200m) at the 2008 Olympics and returned at the world championships last summer to lower those marks to 9.58sec and 19.19sec respectively. On both occasions he helped Jamaica to the sprint relay titles.

In making the presentations, Prime Minister Golding said: "We have a great athlete, a great icon, someone who can help to strengthen Jamaica's image right across the globe".

The Prime Minister said that in asking Bolt to accept the role the government should not be seen as rewarding him but was asking him to take on the responsibility of helping promote Jamaica because of his high profile.

Bolt, who said he was honoured, told the Prime Minister: "I will try to do my best and will live up to your expectations."