Do women athletes need a personality in order to increase their market value?
Usain Bolt may have the answer. During an interview with the UK Times, Bolt said he was impressed with female sprinters such as Jamaicans Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson who made their mark in the sport in a photo finish 1,2,3 in the 100m final at the Olympic Games in Tokyo earlier this year.
“They’re really keeping the sport exciting. All we need is a personality — most of the ladies are really quiet and chill,” Bolt said. “What’s missing is the performance that I always put on that people really love.”
Many sports fans are saying that these Jamaican women were slighted by the American media and especially Nike, in favor of spirited American sprint star and last place runner Sha’Carri Richardson.
Richardson was given a Beats by Dre and a Nike ad to mark her rerun to the sport after a suspension for marijuana use caused her to miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Since her emergence on the scene as a leading runner in the US, she has made the international news in one way or another. Although she is yet to receive international triumph in any major race, she got a shout-out on Drake’s latest album Certified Lover Boy.
“And I’m like Sha’Carri, smoke ’em on and off the track,” Drake quipped on No Friends in the Industry.
Bolt, who has said that Sha’Carri is good for the sport, was also the subject of many Dancehall and Rap songs in his heyday. It’s leverage he has since used to collaborate with artists like Vybz Kartel, Cham, and Christopher Martin and to launch his own lifestyle brand the A-Team, and his fledgling musical career.
The eight-time Olympic Gold champion, who has had a successful post-track career landing endorsements with several companies including a lifetime Puma deal, currently has the No. 1 Reggae album and music video on iTunes. The album, titled Country Yutes, was released on September 3 with Bolt’s executive manager and business partner Nugent ‘NJ’ Walker.
As much as Bolt is a record-breaking winner in Track And Field, due to his enigmatic personality, he has been a part of other major sporting events such as the NBA all star games and UK premier league matches.
Most recently he participated as captain of the team in the Soccer Aid fundraiser at the Eithad Stadium in the UK. His image was splashed across newspapers as his team The World XI beat England 3-0 in the 2021 edition of Soccer Aid. The charity event raised a record-breaking £13,014,769 for UNICEF.