By Andrew Atkinson
If Usain Bolt visited Los Montesinos the first place he’d run to would be Bar Rives in the middle of the Vega Baja town – where locals play dominoes daily.
“I love playing dominoes. It is a real passion and such a wonderful and peaceful game,” said world record sprinter Bolt.
The Kingston, Jamaican born star said: “I sit outside my home playing with friends for hours – talking, chilling, laughing and thinking.”
Bolt, 100m, 200m, and 4 x 100m relay world record holder, grew up watching his father Wellesley, also known as Gideon, playing dominoes as a child on the veranda of his home in Sherwood Content.
“If you drive past towns on Sundays, you see young people and older people playing outside shops and bars.
“Sometimes you sit down to play dominoes and there are so many people standing around watching, you feel more pressure than on the running track.
“You need real patience and concentration. It is very technical,” said Bolt, considered the greatest sprinter of all time.
Jamaica staged the world dominoes championships in 2012 and Bolt said: “The game we play is ‘six-love’ so you have to win six games to get a point, and it can get competitive.
“Some people cheat – by making codes to their partners – so you have got to know who you’re playing.”
In Montesinos it is mostly the retired gentlemen of the town who sit down to play dominoes for hours.
“Playing with older guys makes me better. The older you get, the easier it becomes – because you think more clearly,” added Bolt.
Caption: Dominoes: Daily pastime at Bar Rives Los Montesinos. Photo: Andrew Atkinson