President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Lord Sebastian Coe has once again encouraged athletes to look to the example set by recently retired sprint superstar Usain Bolt.
It’s easy to see how Bolt the 11-time World Championships and nine-time Olympic gold medallist would be the perfect example for upcoming athletes.
Few can claim to match up to the sprinter’s exploits on the track, which have also included three world records and virtual invincibility. Coe has, however, on this occasion turned his attention to the sprinter’s value to the sport off the track.
Bolt’s larger than life and engaging personality served as a drawing card for viewers to the sport of athletics and Coe believes that aspect of the Jamaican’s contribution to athletics is as good an example for any to follow.
“This is not just about finding somebody who is going to dominate sprinting for three Olympic Games and break world records,” Coe told the Daily Mail.
“It’s actually about his personality. I think there’s an emphasis here for athletes to recognise that we’re in the entertainment business. They have to have an opinion, they have to dominate a room,” he added.
“Too often I sit there, because I go to a lot of these conferences post-race, and I’m thinking, ‘Are you really offering as much as you should in terms of the insights and the accessibility?’ I think it’s really important they do that.”
The 31-year-old Bolt called time on an illustrious career following this summer’s IAAF London World Championships but is expected to continue to play a major role in its development.