Friday, July 16, 2010

Paris Parties Jamaican Style!

Yesterday, Paris celebrated speed, style, and song - Jamaica style!

Ad for the Jamaica Party in the Paris Metro
© Discover Paris!
Sprinter Usain Bolt, holder of the world's fastest times in the 100 m and 200 m dash, was the star of the day.  An event held at the place de l'Hôtel de Ville encouraged young and old to try their luck at outrunning a motorized, mounted cut-out of Bolt, and to clock their best time at the 100 meter dash.  These activities were a delight for lots of budding child athletes.

"Who Faster?"
Photo by Discover Paris!

Even the loss of a shoe did not dissuade this youngster from trying to catch up with the lightning-fast Bolt surrogate!

One-shoed runner
Photo by Discover Paris!

Participants received a set of inflatable "Bolt Arms," designed to mimic the pose that Bolt strikes during track and field events.

"Bolt Arms"
Photos by Discover Paris

Bolt held a press conference at the sportswear store Courir on the Champs Elysées at 3:00 PM, before joining friends and fans at the Hôtel de Ville to introduce the free concert held there in the late afternoon and evening.  Reggae greats such as Winston McAnuff and Alpha Bondy performed on a huge stage against the backdrop of the silhouette of a puma, symbol of the sponsor of the affair. 

Winston McAnuff and his band
Photos by Discover Paris!

Tonight, Bolt will run the 100 meters against Asafa Powell, compatriot and the man from whom he took the record in 2008.  Bolt, Powell, and several other contenders in this race have run the 100 meters in less than ten seconds, so it will be a closely observed contest. The competition is part of the Meeting AREVA, a track meet to be held at the Stade de France in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis.  It is scheduled for 9:46 PM.


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