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Bolt flies in for first Carnival: shows off his tassa skills

By Jabari Fraser

He has the fastest hu­man legs ever, but who knew Usain Bolt has some speedy hands on tassa drums.

The six-time Olympic champion arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday night as a Digicel ambassador, rea­dy to “wine” his way through Monday and Tuesday. 

“I’m here to have fun,” was his response when asked what he came to do in Trinidad and Tobago.

Throughout the day yesterday, videos of the Jamaican sprint superstar playing tassa and DJ to the sounds of Jamaican RDX’s song “Kotch” on “The Morning After” boat cruise in Chaguaramas circulated heavily on Face­­book. 

He was also asked if he knew Trinidad Carnival was not a sprint, more like an 800-metre race, and he replied, “We’ll see! Hahahahaha, good one! Good one! Speed, when you turn it down a little bit, it can go over a long period, and as you say, I used to run 400 metres, so natural thing, ya understand?” 

Amid camera flashes of photo­graphers and excited fans going wild, he slowed down a bit to chat with repor­ters at Piarco International Airport on Wednesday night. 

Bolt dashed away any doubts his waist was not ready for the giddy-paced rigours of soca. 

In his Jamaican patois twang, he said, “What! Listen to me, I’m Usain bolt; I may be fast on the track, but we work out the other details later, ya understand?” 

On Wednesday, Bolt aler­ted his Instagram and Twitter followers online that he would be making his way to T&T, posting a picture of himself and his friends at the airport. 

He said he was doing his pre-Carnival ear training: “You know, say, I just get a CD because I was informed that you guys don’t play the real old ones, you keep up to date, so I got my CD and I’m on to the newer version of the songs.” 

He says his first Carnival experience is not ta­king away from his train­ing. 

“No, you know, we find a way to fit it in. The coach always knows how long we can spend from training. So we set aside time for this and, you know, we work around this.” 

In between greeting and taking pictures with excited fans, including Machel Montano’s mo­th­er and children, he said he was just here to enjoy himself. 

“Just the music, bro­ther, but as I said, you’ll see me around the place, alright? Respect.” 

Although he did not say exactly how long he would be here and if he would be playing mas, Bolt is expected to be in Trinidad and Tobago until next week. 

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