Usain Bolt signs a movie poster while in his room at the Corinthia Ho­tel in Lon­don, Eng­land.

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - An­dré Lowe Spe­cial Projects Ed­i­tor – Sports

THERE AREN’T too many in the world who know Usain Bolt and his story bet­ter than his best friend and man­ager, Nu­gent Walker.

Bolt’s highly an­tic­i­pated biopic I am Bolt is set to hit the­aters to­day with a pre­miere at Odeon Le­ices­ter Square cin­ema, and his life-long ally is hop­ing that the one hour 47 min­utes tell-all will not only show the in­ner gears be­hind the Bolt ma­chine, but that it will also in­spire movie-go­ers to push them­selves to achieve their ob­jec­tives.

Walker, who fig­ures promi­nently in the film and who is also cred­ited as an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with The Gleaner, also shared the ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing a cam­era crew within the sprinter’s vice-like in­ner cir­cle.

“We hope to in­spire the world,” Walker said yes­ter­day. “We want peo­ple to push for­ward in their lives and de­velop an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Usain’s jour­ney and to see that they can push for­ward as well de­spite chal­lenges.

“We wanted the world to see the real story, and my role was to en­sure that the real Usain was pre­sented,” Walker added.

DEEPER LEV­ELS

“What Usain rep­re­sents is im­por­tant. The world needs to see this – from a boy from the deep ru­ral Jamaican com­mu­nity of Sher­wood Con­tent to what he is to­day: a world fig­ure. We re­alised from very early that this movie could con­vey Usain at a deeper level to Ja­maica and the world,” Walker added.

“We are very happy we were given this medium to share to the world, the dif­fer­ent lev­els and tiers to Usain – the peo­ple around him, his agent, coach, par­ents – to him speak­ing openly about any con­cerns and fears, what this all means to him, to share the whole process,” said Walker.

“I know the jour­ney, I know the strug­gles that he has been through. I know this young man and we thought this was nec­es­sary,” he added. “As he moves to an­other chap­ter in his life, this sea­son be­ing his last World Cham­pi­onships, this was a good way to cel­e­brate his legacy, the story, the man, the leg­end, to show­case to the world what makes this man.”

PO­SI­TION­ING HIS LEGACY

Walker said, “When you see the 9.5 sec­onds, you don’t know how he got there, the fears, the strug­gles. I think we laid a good foun­da­tion for an un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of this. This movie will go a long way in po­si­tion­ing his legacy and en­er­gise the world in a pos­i­tive way.” Walker, who has been friends with Bolt since they were six years old, ad­mit­ted that hav­ing the film crew around them for the past cou­ple of years took some get­ting used to, but he is cer­tain that the ob­jec­tives were met. “It was a new ex­pe­ri­ence con­stantly hav­ing a cam­era around, but we knew it was im­por­tant. Usain wanted to con­vey that what you see on the track takes hard work. He also wanted to give the world an ex­clu­sive view of his life – the fun el­e­ment, play time, re­lax­ation, con­cerns, ev­ery­thing. So, yes, it was a new ex­pe­ri­ence. But thank­fully, the crew was good. They were not pushy. We didn’t even no­tice that they were there some­times.”

RICARDO MAKYN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

FILE

Ja­maica’s ace sprinter Usain Bolt walks ahead of his ex­ec­u­tive man­ager, Nu­gent Walker.

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