Jamaican track star Usain Bolt among TIME’s 100 Most Influential People

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KINGSTON, Jamaica– Olympic champion Usain Bolt is one of the most influential people in the world, according to TIME magazine.

The Jamaican has been named among world leaders, activists, artists and athletes, scientists, moguls and United States presidential hopefuls, in the list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2016 released yesterday.

Writing about Bolt, who was placed in the icon category, fellow Jamaican Ziggy Marley – son of late reggae legend Bob Marley – described the sprinter as a “light” and “a unifying force”.

“Usain Bolt is a light. There are a lot of things in Jamaica—and the world—that cause separation: politics, inequality, crime. But an entire generation can look up to Usain,” the Grammy Award-winning reggae artist wrote.

Marley went on to say that he sees many similarities between Bolt and his late father.

“They both grew up in very modest circumstances and went on to make positive change on the world stage. Usain makes music on the track; he runs with great joy, with passion and with soul. He has that smile, that Jamaican flair.

It’s a swagger and confidence that we all really enjoy. A lot of people who get to that superstar level pretend to be somebody else. I think that’s the thing I like most about Usain. He’s real. He’s not putting on a facade.”

Bolt is preparing for what may be his last Olympics, in Rio this summer.

But Marley says he expects the track star will remain influential even after he retires.

“I’m confident that . . . he will continue to take all that he has learned, both on and off the track, and pass it along to others. He’s a strong leader, and he’ll continue to be an inspiration,” Marley wrote.

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