Puma splashes out on sponsorship deal for Bolt

Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt has renewed his sponsorship contract with German sportswear giant Puma through until the end of 2013, making him the best paid person in athletics.

Puma splashes out on sponsorship deal for Bolt
Photo: DPA

Puma said that while the specific terms of the contract were undisclosed, the deal apparently puts the reigning 100m and 200m world record holder and double world and Olympic champion in his own class financially, as well.

“The figure is by far the largest ever given to a track and field athlete, positioning Bolt as a top earner in the world of sport, a further acknowledgment of his astonishing achievements over the past two years,” Puma said.

The German company first signed with the Jamaican in 2003 when he was just 16 years old.

But Bolt has brought an early end to his season this year because of a nagging back problem.

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Nuns on the run: Vatican launches its first athletics team

Faster, higher...holier. The newly-formed Vatican Athletics team, which is aiming to compete in international competitions, including the Olympics, was officially launched on Thursday after reaching a bilateral agreement with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

Nuns on the run: Vatican launches its first athletics team
Priests take part in a fun run in front of St Peter's in 2013. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

So far there are 60 members of Vatican Athletics — the first Sports Association constituted in the Holy See — which includes nuns, priests, Swiss Guards and other workers.

Monsignor Melchor José Sánchez de Toca y Alameda, president of Vatican Athletics, said at the launch that the Olympic Games were “the dream but not in the short term”.

“The dream that we have often had is to see the Holy See flag among the delegations at the opening of the Olympic Games,” he said. But in the immediate future Vatican Athletics would like to be present at smaller competitions such as the Mediterranean Games.


Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) president Giovanni Malago praised the latest initiative at the Holy See, which already has football and cricket teams.

“It will be necessary to affiliate with other federations,” he told Vatican News. “I'm sure this will happen, today we have started a courageous and winning start up.”

The CONI agreement allows the team to take part in national and internationally sanctioned events and to have access to Italian national coaching and medical facilities.

Team members wearing navy track suits with the Holy See's crossed keys seal were present at the launch. The youngest athlete is a 19-year-old Swiss guard, and the oldest a 62-year-old professor of the Vatican Apostolic Library.

Priests play football by the Vatican as part of the Clericus Cup. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Two young Muslim asylum seekers, Jallow Buba, a 20-year-old Gambian, and Anszou Cissè, a 19-year-old Senegalese, have also been registered as honorary members.

Vatican pharmacist and runner Michela Ciprietti said she welcomed the initiative as “sport is the means of bringing people together.”

The team's first official event will be the Corsa di Miguel on January 20th, a 10km race in Rome honouring Miguel Sanchez, an Argentine distance runner who disappeared during the country's dictatorship.