Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Usain Bolt of Jamaica (R) poses for photos with Huang Siyu,
13, a survivor of the Sichuan earthquake (C) and Miss
World, Zhang Zilin, (L) during a photocall at the Westin
hotel in Beijing on August 23, 2008. Bolt donated US$50,000
to the Red Cross Society of China.


BEIJING - Triple Olympic sprint gold medalist Jamaican
Usain Bolt on Saturday made a personal donation of
US$50,000 to children in the earthquake-stricken Sichuan
Province, and wished people there to "get through from the
tragedy" and move forward with the inspiration of the
Olympic Games.

"We came here, tried to perform well," said the Jamaican,
who claimed the gold medals in men's 100m and 200m sprint
as well as the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympic Games.
"I hope people enjoy the games, forget the past and move

"You have to move forward after the disaster. And also, the
Olympics ask people to move forward," he added.

An 8.0-magnitude tremor hit the southwestern Chinese
province and its neighboring regions on May 12, killing
nearly 70,000 people and leaving some 18,000 others
missing. At least 10 million people lost their homes to the

Bolt said that he had seen reports of the earthquake on TV
for a long time. "It makes me feel sorry for the victims,
so I ask my management team to do something," said Bolt in
an exclusive interview with Xinhua, after delivering the
cheque to Liu Xuanguo, secretary-general of the Red Cross
Foundation of China.

Two children from Sichuan, confined to wheelchairs due to
quake-inflicted injuries, presented their paintings to Bolt
as gifts.

"They are kids. They deserve a better future," Bolt said,
crouching between the wheelchairs. "I hope they can still
enjoy themselves, because they are still kids. And, it's
great for kids to live in joys. I just want to help them."

"I'm looking forward (to) more people coming out and
helping them." Bolt said.

Weeks before the opening of the Beijing Games, Bolt had
trained in Tianjin, a north China port city some 120 km
from Beijing. He was given a painting there, which depicted
Chinese soldiers rescuing kids from under the rubble.

"I still keep the painting, and will definitely bring it
home," Bolt told Xinhua. "I really appreciate it."

Talking about the Olympic Games, Bolt said that he was
welcome in China, and was moved by the Chinese people. He
said he was moved to tears on the night of winning the 200m
race, when more than 90,000 spectators in the National
Stadium, or the Bird's Nest, sang "happy birthday" for him.

The Jamaican sprinter just turned 22 two days ago.

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