“Athletes Know Your Worth” – Usain Bolt Berates Corporate Companies That Refused to Support Jamaican Sprinters

Published 08/10/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt poses for a photograph while attending the Prime Minister’s Awards 2015 event, held to celebrate the outstanding performance of athletes, in Kingston October 16, 2015. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy/Files


Usain Bolt called out cooperate companies that didn’t support Jamaican athletes leading up to the Olympics. Now all these companies are trying to work with the athletes that won medals at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

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Many Jamaican athletes faced monetary restrictions during training before the Olympics, owing to the pandemic. They sought the help of companies for sponsorships, but none of the companies will take the risk.

BEIJING – AUGUST 20: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men’s 200m Final at the National Stadium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Pandemic thwarts athletes’ earnings

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Track and field athletes earn most of their money through appearance fees and winning bonuses. They pay the athletes to race at events and they win bonuses for getting podium finishes. The Covid-19 pandemic meant that all track meets were canceled or postponed.

The athletes had no way of making money and so their training suffered. Jamaican sprinter Schillonie Calvert-Powell was one of the first athletes that complained about the lack of funds.

In response to this, World Athletics, along with the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) launched a $500,000 fund for the athletes. The fund aimed to relieve some of the financial burdens of the athletes affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

They generated the funds from the 2020 and 2021 budgets of the IAF. Since there were no events scheduled during the pandemic, they used their funds to help the athletes cope.

Usain Bolt points out the poor financial conditions for Tokyo Olympics athletes

Usain Bolt sent out a tweet berating the corporate companies that didn’t show faith in the athletes. Because of the pandemic, many Jamaican athletes struggled for funds and reached out to companies for sponsorships.

The companies didn’t put their faith in the athletes before the Olympics. Now, these same companies are hounding the medal-winning athletes for sponsorships. These athletes are very marketable now since the entire country will have their eyes on them.

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Usain Bolt reminded the athletes to know their worth and make sure that none of these companies get to take the credit for their hard work for free.

Earlier this year, the President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAA) stated that the JAA had no funds to help the athletes during the pandemic.

“With the resources that we have, we are just not able to compensate athletes for lost income,” Blake said. “We have spoken about it at the local level, and we do not have the resources to do so.”

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Jamaica dominated the women’s track events winning a 1-2-3 in the Women’s 100m finals. Since Usain Bolt retired, there has been no male athlete that has picked up where Bolt left off .

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Allan Binoy

206 articles

Allan Binoy is a Combat Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Allan is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC.

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