County News: Sussex student jets half-way around the world to scoop interview with Usain Bolt

Dylan Legrand and Usain Bolt's father SUS-161101-172344001
Dylan Legrand and Usain Bolt's father SUS-161101-172344001

Sussex sports journalism student Dylan Legrand flew half way round the world on the off chance of interviewing the biggest name in athletics – Usain Bolt – and came away with a scoop.

Dylan, who graduates from the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus this year, had no idea if he would succeed but was determined to try anything in furtherance of his dissertation.

He flew to Jamaica in hot pursuit of the fastest man alive, and his persistence paid off. He tracked down Bolt during a training session, grabbed a brief interview, and then gleaned insights into the world and Olympic sprint champion’s life by speaking with Bolt’s father Wellesley.

Dylan hopes to get his article published in an international magazine or national newspaper as he strives for a career in sports journalism – he already has an interview lined up with a TV channel.

He said, “I am proud of what I achieved – it was a challenge but it turned out to be a great experience.

“I was not welcomed at the training session when I first arrived but I managed to make a deal with coach Glen Mills to stay but it meant I wasn’t allowed to take photographs.

“Usain is a cool man – very relaxed. I met him in the session and he was very focused. It was great to watch him.”

Dylan, who studies at the university’s campus in Eastbourne, decided to try and meet Usain Bolt to produce first-hand interviews and to gather material for his end-of-study feature on critical investigation.

Luck was with him – on the 10-hour flight to Jamaica he sat next to a Jamaican couple who lived close to the college Bolt attended and they helped him reach Usain’s home village, Sherwood Content. The couple’s nephew led him to Usain’s home where Dylan met Usain’s father.

Dylan said his journalism course helped him immensely.

“I would recommend it to anyone thinking of a career in journalism. It helped me master my communication, journalism and interviewing skills and with preparation for a first job within the industry.

“Lecturers have helped me with work experience and advised me in finding the right path for a career within the media industry.”

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