Usain Bolt now holds the record for being the fastest man on earth and now he has set his sights on Ireland. County Donegal specifically.
The 100 and 200 meter world record holder from Jamaica told the Belfast Telegraph that he plans to visit Donegal as soon as his schedule permits.
Responding to his statement Ireland athletics team manager Patsy McGonagle told the Telegraph the visit would 'encourage a generation of Irish athletes.'
There's a good reason why Bolt, nicknamed Lightening, wants to visit. The triple Olympic gold medallist is managed by Ricky Simms, a member of the Finn Valley Athletics Club, where McGonagle is chairman.
Bolt said yesterday: 'I'm looking forward to coming to Donegal. It's something I've been asking Ricky about, and perhaps I can make it next season.'
Finn Valley AC recently unveiled its new all-weather blue track, the first of its kind in Ireland, and Mr McGonagle wants Bolt to officially open it.
'Everything is now in place for that to happen,' he said. 'We've arranged a private jet and we can hopefully bring Usain and Ricky to Donegal from London when things settle down.
'He's facing a huge demand on his time at the moment, but I've spoken to Usain and Ricky and they want to make it happen. The London Games were magnificent for all the right reasons, and they will help athletes in Ireland.
'I think a visit to Donegal with the fastest man in the world as a guest of Finn Valley Athletics Club will be an inspiration for another generation of Irish athletes."
McGonagle reminded the press of Donegal's connections to another Olympic champion, the double gold medallist Mo Farah, who is also managed by Simms.
The Somali-born British 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter champion has visited Donegal several times, spending Christmas two years ago in Milford.
He also took part in the club's annual St Stephen's Day charity race.
'We pulled Mo a pint at the club afterwards, but he doesn't drink,' said Mr McGonagle. 'We're privileged to have so many of the world's top athletes as friends, thanks to Ricky, who's never forgotten his roots,' he added.
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