Heart Foundation of Jamaica lights up Usain Bolt’s statue for World Heart Day

There was a big splash of bright red, lighting up our champion sprinter Usain Bolt (his statue, that is) recently. Why?

As part of this year’s World Heart Day celebration, The Heart Foundation of Jamaica – which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year – illuminated the Usain Bolt statue, located at the National Stadium in Kingston on September 23, 2021.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange and Executive Director at the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Mrs Deborah Chen, stand ‘hands in heart’ at the recently held lighting ceremony at the National Stadium Park. This year, the Usain Bolt Monument was lit red in recognition World Heart Day. (Photo: Heart Foundation of Jamaica)
 

World Heart Day, is celebrated on September 29, observing the theme: “Use ❤️ to Connect.” This year I have been seeing several reports on the risks that COVID-19 poses to our hearts (not only for those who already have heart conditions, but for previously healthy younger patients in their 30s and 40s).

The lighting ceremony is done annually in response to the global charge by the World Heart Federation (WHF) to shine red on a national monument to raise awareness of the world’s number one killer, and as a show of support and recognition for those persons living with cardiovascular disease.

The lighting is a powerful visual symbol of our fight against premature mortality caused by cardiovascular disease. The Foundation is emphasizing the need for all of us to participate in lifestyle practices that will help to maintain a heathy heart.

Bolt’s eight-foot bronze figure was first unveiled at the National Stadium on December 3, 2017, taking the sprint sensation’s famous “To the World” stance. The statue was sculpted by Jamaican sculptor and painter Basil Watson, CD.

Other landmarks and statues that have been lit by WHF member nations include the Eiffel Tower (Paris France), The Eye (London, England), Niagara Falls (Canada), and the Sydney Opera House (Sydney, Australia), to name a few. 

The Heart Foundation of Jamaica, by the way, provides an excellent (inexpensive) service in screening, testing, counseling and clinic services. Founded in 1971 by the Lions Club of Kingston, the Foundation offers reasonably priced training in CPR and First Aid for non-medical personnel. Become a member today and obtain benefits. You can find them at 28 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5. Tel: (876) 926-4378; 926-6492; 929-3195. Email: info@heartfoundation.org. They are also on Twitter @heartjamaica and on Facebook and Instagram.

PS. Next year, how about lighting up Miss Lou’s statue in Gordon Town?

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange (centre), joins Executive Director of the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Mrs Deborah Chen, at the lighting ceremony held on Thursday September 23 at the National Stadium Park. Also photographed are Ms Noelle Campbell, Senior Manager of Health Services, board member Major Desmond Brown, Dr Julia Rowe-Porter, Medical Epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and Ms Kadian Milton, Senior Manager, Marketing and Business Development at the Heart Foundation of Jamaica. (Photo: Heart Foundation of Jamaica)

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