Jul 14, 2023 - Sports

New Usain Bolt statue criticized for high cost

Usain Bolt celebrates as he wins gold in the Men's 200-meter final in the 2012 Olympics. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, will be in South Florida on Saturday for the unveiling of a new statue outside the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar — but not everyone will be cheering on the spectacle.

Driving the news: The $250,000 price tag for a public art piece of the world record-holding Jamaican sprinter has sparked criticism from at least one city commissioner.

  • "I have yet to hear of any connection he has to the city, whether on a personal, family or business level," Commissioner Winston Barnes tells Axios.

The other side: Vice Mayor Alexandra Davis, who spearheaded the project, tells Axios that the statue will inspire residents and local athletes while attracting tourists.

  • Davis says the piece — sculpted by world-renowned artist Basil Watson — was mostly funded through a public arts program that developers pay into if they don't provide public art at their project sites.

What they're saying: "The statue will become a point of pride for our community, a landmark that showcases our commitment to excellence, athleticism and the celebration of human achievement," Davis says.

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