The city of Miramar, Florida, has revealed its plans to unveil a statue of Usain Bolt to honor the astonishing achievements of Jamaican sprinter. However, some residents have expressed their anger and displeasure at the cost of the statue.
Many taxpayers feel that spending $250,000 which is equivalent to (38 million Jamaican dollars) on a statue is very expensive and that money can be used for more important purposes. Many taxpayers in Miramar are therefore not prepared to cover the cost of this project. This statue will cost more than some of the Olympic gold medals.
Bolt is respected all across the world and it’s therefore not surprising that many nations have adopted him as one of their own.
The artist who has been given the job of erecting the art piece is the Jamaican born Basil Watson, who has agreed to be paid in four installments.
City Commissioner Winston Barnes thinks the costly statute is “a waste of taxpayer money.” Winston also said, “Miramar isn’t like Moscow, which has an Usain statue of its own. Miramar is not attracting international tourists.”
“I do not think we have the luxury to try to create monuments of icons simply at the fancy of elected officials.”
In 2017, the Eight-time Olympic gold medalist was honored with an eight-foot bronze statue that was unveiled at Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston. The statue was sculpturedin his “To di World” pose and it was placed close to other Jamaican icons such as Bob Marley. He has also been celebrated with other statues in different parts of the world.
A commission aspirant from the city by the name Chris Koval, claims that the money should be utilized to erect smaller statues of Native American and Black Athletes who were also an inspiration to Usain Bolt.
It is worth noting that Miramar has ties to Jamaica and many of the residents are immigrants from the Caribbean country.
Some of the athletes suggested instead of one sculpture carving of Bolt are Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Jim Thorpe, and Florence Griffith Joyner.
Bolt is well recognized for being an eight-time Olympic gold medalist while having both records for the fastest 100-meter and 200-meter races of all time.
Miramar city commissioner, Alexandra Davis, revealed the reason behind the statute. He said, “We wanted to make sure we had a world-class Olympian as part of the art in public places.” By the looks of it, the goal is to inspire people with the journey of Usain Bolt in track and field.
What is your take on the Olympian’s statue? Do the taxpayers make a fair point?