Usain Bolt is known for his lightening speed and gold medals, but very rarely is he recognized for his charitable donations to the community; thus, Bolt has made to two big contributions to the British community.
He donated a pair of autographed running spikes to nine-year-old Matthew Smith, who is a cancer victim that had to have his leg amputated in April. Smith is currently learning adjusting to using a prosthetic limb, which he is hopeful that the limb will allow him to return the soccer field and play for Brislington Juniors FC in Bristol.
The Olympic champion in the 100 and 200 meters, heard about Smith’s situation from his cousin Vinette Jones. Jones with Smith’s soccer coach.
“I think the story really struck a chord with him,” Jones said. “Usain is a very quick runner so he thought about what it would like for him to lose a leg.”
Bolt’s mother, Jennifer, presented the signed spikes to the family before flying to Jamaica after the London Olympics.
The Smith family was shocked and thankful for Bolt’s gratitude.
“Having Usain Bolt’s mum come and present Matthew with a signed pair of his spikes was brilliant,” said his father, Colin. “Matthew really appreciated it and couldn’t believe that one of the biggest superstars in the world had done that for him.”
The family has placed the shoes on eBay and hope to raise $1,300 to help go towards medical expenses.
Bolt did not just stop his charitable ways with the Smith family, but he recently helped out Great Britain’s Mel Edwards.
Edwards, 69, was a reserve for the Great Britain marathon team in 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, was diagnosed six years ago with multiple myeloma and bone marrow cancer.
Edwards was able to get Bolt to autograph one of his Jamaican international running tops for his cancer charity. He understands how rare of an opportunity this for his charity.
“He only signs three or four vests each year for charitable purposes so I am delighted he has decided to choose my charity,” Edwards said.
The top will be auctioned off on Nov. 8 at London’s Dorchester Hotel at a gala dinner for Myeloma UK charity.