Asafa is proof that support makes a difference

The Minister of Sport Olivia Grange says the sprinter Asafa Powell became “one of Jamaica’s greatest athletes” because of “a critical eye, care, and support” of his coach, family, and community. Minister Grange was speaking at the unveiling of the statue in tribute to Powell on Sunday at National Stadium.
The Prime Minister Andrew Holness unveiled the statue during a special ceremony. Grange said Powell’s outstanding career showed “how consistent, determined, and strategic support can trigger success of immeasurable proportions”.
The minister praised Powell’s parents — William and Cislyn — as well as Coach Stephen Francis who discovered the athlete after he finished seventh in his final race at Boys’ and Girls’ Champs.
“Incredibly, with his coming seventh, Stephen Francis… saw his talent and began to work with him. This inauspicious intervention has led to the creation of one of Jamaica’s greatest athletes,” she said.
Powell has completed the 100 metres in under 10 seconds more times than anyone. His world record currently stands at 97 sub-10 seconds finishes.
Grange prays that he will be able to make it to 100 in the near future.
She said the unveiling of the statue of Powell represented the “fulfilment of a promise we made a few years ago on the back of our unparalleled successes in the field of athletics — that we would create statues in recognition of four of our greatest athletes”.
The statue of Powell is the final of the four to be mounted in Statue Park at National Stadium following sculptures of Usain Bolt, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell Brown.
The renowned Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson was commissioned to produce all four sculptures under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme.
Grange praised Watson, whom she described as a “national treasure” for his “great work on all four statues, which has assisted us in achieving our objectives”.
According to the minister, “The statues not only highlight Jamaican athletic success but will serve as inspiration for all of us about what is possible when we try.”

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