With a financial injection from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the eagerly anticipated construction of Usain Bolt’s statue has taken a giant leap toward fruition with the sculpture base expected to cost an average of $16 million. Trelawny’s capital, Falmouth, will display the artwork at the Water Square fountain’s site.
Recognized as one of the greatest sprinters in history, Bolt OJ, CD, celebrated his 36th birthday this year, which makes it five years since he decided to retire. He left the world of Track and Field as a world record holder in the 100-meter, 200-meter, the 4×100-meter relay events.
In a statement, Minister of Culture Olivia “Babsy” Grange said the project would be executed jointly by the Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC), TEF, and the Jamaica 60 Secretariat with the assistance of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). It is expected that the JDF will construct the base in Water Square.
Dr. Carey Wallace, the executive director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, stopped short of stating how much money the fund was contributing. A small amount of support is being provided to that project, jointly with the Ministry of Culture, Entertainment, Gender, and Sport. Dr. Wallace also mentioned, “we believe that the Usain Bolt statue will become a phenomenal attraction and opportunity for visitors coming to the Falmouth Square,” and that the structure would have a huge impact on tourism.
The culture minister revealed that there will be a decision to be made about the opening date of the statue by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the sprinter who was the inspiration for the sculpture.