Bolt donates $ 50,000 for quake victims
World's fastest man Usain Bolt has made a personal donation of $50,000 for suffering children of the earthquake-hit Sichuan Province.india Updated: Aug 24, 2008 12:03 IST
World's fastest man and the cynosure of Beijing Olympics, Usain Bolt has won the hearts and minds of Chinese people, this time off the track, when he made a personal donation of $50,000 for children of the earthquake-hit Sichuan Province.
"We came here, tried to perform well," said the Jamaican, who claimed the gold medals in men's 100m and 200m sprint as well as the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympic Games.
"I hope people enjoy the games, forget the past and move on," the Jamaican sprinter, who turned 22 just two days ago, said.
He wished the affected people in the southwest Chinese province to "get through from the tragedy" and move forward with the inspiration of the Olympic Games.
"You have to move forward after the disaster. And also, the Olympics will ask people to move forward," he added.
An 8.0-magnitude tremor hit Sichuan province and its neighbouring regions on May 12, killing nearly 70,000 people and leaving some 18,000 others missing. At least 10 million people lost their homes in the disaster.
Bolt said that he had seen reports of the earthquake on TV for a long time.
"It makes me feel sorry for the victims, so I had asked my management team to do something," Bolt was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
Bolt delivered a cheque for USD 50,000 to Liu Xuanguo, secretary-general of the Red Cross Foundation of China in Beijing on Saturday.
Two children from Sichuan, confined to wheelchairs due to quake-inflicted injuries, presented their paintings to Bolt as gifts.
"They are kids. They deserve a better future," Bolt said, crouching between the wheelchairs. "I hope they can still enjoy themselves, because they are still kids. And, it's great for kids to live in joys. I just want to help them."
"I'm looking forward (to) more people coming out and helping them." Bolt said.
Weeks before the opening of the Beijing Games, Bolt had trained in Tianjin, a north China port city some 120 km from here. He was given a painting there, which depicted Chinese soldiers rescuing kids from under the rubble.
"I still keep the painting, and will definitely bring it home."
Talking about the Olympics, Bolt said he was was moved by the hospitality of the Chinese people.
He said he was moved to tears on the night of winning the 200m race, when more than 90,000 spectators in the National Stadium sang "Happy Birthday" for him.