BERLIN — Usain Bolt was honored by the city of Berlin by receiving an original segment of the Berlin Wall — nearly three tons of it.
The Jamaican sprinter, who broke world records in winning gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters, was presented with the piece of wall at a small ceremony Sunday, the final day of the world championships.
The 12-foot high section will be delivered to Bolt’s training camp in Jamaica.
The piece of the wall, which divided communist East Berlin from West Berlin between 1961 and 1989, is decorated with a life-size painting of Bolt running on the blue track of the Olympic stadium and the words “NEW WR” — new world record. Bolt set a world record in the 100 at 9.58 seconds and 19.19 in the 200.
“I will never forget Berlin,” Bolt said at the ceremony. “Ich bin ein Berlino.”
The bear mascot of the championships is called Berlino, while the phrase “ich bin ein Berliner” was used by former President John F. Kennedy during a visit to West Berlin.
Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said Bolt had shown that “one can tear down walls that had been considered as insurmountable.”
The Berlin Wall came down in 1989, as communism was collapsing in Eastern Europe.