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. He’s a unifying force.
I see many similarities between Usain and my 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.
This summer in Rio, Usain will most likely run his last Olympic race. I’m confident that afterward, 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. That’s the most important thing you can be.
Marley is a Grammy Award–winning reggae artist