Monday, July 28, 2014

Usain Bolt Bemused After He's Asked About Gaza And The Scottish Referendum At Commonwealth Games Press Conference; I'm Here To Run, Not Talk Politics

  • Usain Bolt threw his hands up in the air after a bizarre line of questioning from journalists in Glasgow
  • The Jamaican Olympic champion was asked if he would wear a kilt and whether he could pose for a selfie with reporters
  • In response to a more serious question, Bolt confirmed he would race in the 4x100m relay

As one of the sporting world's biggest stars, Usain Bolt would have expected rigorous questioning from the media about his current form or decision to only run the relay at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

But when the world's fastest man walked into a room full of journalists for his first press conference in Glasgow on Saturday, the line of questioning from journalists would have come as a shock - and rightly so.

Bolt was strangely asked for his opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the upcoming Scottish referendum, as well as whether he would be willing to wear a kilt and pose for selfies with adoring reporters.

The Jamaican six-time Olympic champion was left to throw his hands in the air in confusion as journalists continued with their bizarre line of questioning.

But as one of the only global superstars of the Commonwealth Games, Bolt managed to bare it all with his trademark humour.

'You'll be aware that the Commonwealth Games are the friendly Games, with a subtext of human rights. In the past, the Israel and Palestine territories have tried to join the Commonwealth. You're a man of the world. What is your view?' one journalist asked.

Bolt raised his hands in the air and responded: 'For me, I hear about it but I don’t really follow politics so I can't really comment unless I have the full details.'

A Scottish journalist then stepped up to ask Bolt: 'Can I just ask you what your opinion is of an independence referendum on Scotland coming up in a couple of months' time. Have you got any thoughts?'

'I didn’t even know that. I'm sorry,' Bolt laughed.

'Usain, we're not here as journalists, we're here as fans,' dolloped one member of the broadcast media before requesting a selfie at the end of the session.

In amidst of those questions were more serious sport-related queries, and Bolt was able to confirm he planned to race in the 4x100m relay.

'For me it was very important... I will be running in the heats of the relay because I need the runs, this is my first run for the season so I really need to get it going,' he said.

Despite the bizarre line of questioning, Bolt said the right things about staying in the athletes' village and heading out to watch other sports during his week-long stay, paying particular heed of the Jamaican netball team.


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