On Saturday, UAE residents got a chance to run with world-famous, Olympic gold-winning athlete Usain Bolt.
A partnership between the athlete, Gatorade and the Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub at Expo 2020, brought Bolt to Expo 2020 Dubai, where he took part in a 1.45-kilometre family run to raise funds for Al Noor Rehabilitation and Welfare Association for People of Determination.
The event was free to enter and open to the public, so hundreds of runners participated, running with the retired Jamaican sprinter who is the world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres, and 4 x 100 metres relay.
Sport-loving students of determination from Al Noor also participated in the family run, along with their families, running alongside Bolt, 35, who won eight Olympic and 11 World Championship golds in his career.
To commemorate the moment, Bolt posed with the students after the run, to further inspire them to continue pushing boundaries and achieve their goals.
Specially-abled Emirati athlete Hamda Hosani, winner of 17 Special Olympic medals, also joined Bolt at the event – fulfilling a lifelong dream of running with the sporting icon
Hosani, who has epilepsy, has long been a champion in the local sports scene, encouraging children to believe in themselves and embrace sport. She met Bolt on a surprise Zoom call ahead of his visit, when he invited her to run alongside him at the event.
“It has been a pleasure visiting Expo 2020 Dubai and learning more about how Dubai has reimagined the future of mobility, including make it easy and accessible,” Bolt said after the run.
“The family run today was a great example of how sports can bring a community together for a good cause. I always tell the young athletes that their possibilities are endless, and in today’s run, joined by the students of determination from Al Noor and Hamda Hosani, I think we’ve proved that.
“A big thank you to everyone in Dubai that came down to join us today for the family run. I can’t wait to come back to Dubai in the future!” he added.
After the run, Bolt visited the Gatorade Bolt pavilion, located in the Mobility District, to meet fans.
“Sports has always had the power to inspire and connect people regardless of age, gender, nationality or background. It was truly exciting to welcome Usain Bolt, one of the world’s greatest athletes, to Expo 2020 and see him encourage communities to run for a good cause while promoting physical activity as a way of life,” said Sholto Douglas-Home, chief marketing, communication and sales officer for Expo 2020 Dubai.