His arm around her waist, sprinter Usain Bolt and his latest girlfriend are the picture of togetherness.
The world’s fastest man has been dating fashion designer Lubica Slovak for six months and the relationship is described as ‘very serious’.
A friend of 28-year-old Miss Slovak declared: ‘Love has no race – it’s a heart to heart connection.’
But 25-year-old Bolt has come in for criticism from fellow black Jamaicans unhappy that he has chosen a white partner.
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One online posting said: ‘Really now Usain! Some successful black men obviously suffer from a white woman complex. You too?’, while another complained: ‘Another one of our men snatched.’
Further protests included: ‘Out of all the girls on this island you pick a snowbunny’, and: ‘These superstars will always disappoint if we depend on them to raise our racial identity.’
The sprinter nicknamed Lightning Bolt is known for his mid-race celebrations and post- victory bow-and-arrow pose.
He is the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder over 100 and 200 metres.
He hopes to smash his own records and retain his titles in London this summer, watched by his Slovakian-born girlfriend.
Miss Slovak emigrated to Canada with her father when she was 14 and studied fashion design at the Ryerson University in Toronto.
She moved to Jamaica after she ‘fell in love’ with the island during a holiday in 2000.
‘Love has no race’: A friend of Lubica Slovak, here sporting brunette hair, has defended her relationship with Bolt
Relationship under attack: Shortly after they met, Miss Slovak, pictured here with dark hair, interviewed Bolt for a feature in a Slovakian newspaper and they began dating in mid-November
Miss Slovak was introduced to Bolt last year through a mutual friend, reggae singer Tami Chynn, with whom she owns an award-winning clothing line called Anuna and a Kingston boutique.
Shortly after they met, she interviewed Bolt for a feature in a Slovakian newspaper and they began dating in mid-November.
A friend told the Mail: ‘They are very comfortable together and easy. They do quiet dinners in the country and trips to Montego Bay. They don’t really do the red carpet thing.’Fiercely private, the couple made sure they were not seen together at functions and spent most evenings at Bolt’s gated home in a suburb of Kingston.
But when a picture of them kissing was published in the Jamaican Observer last month, they received a barrage of abuse.
The accompanying article included a controversial cartoon of a black woman with ‘local’ written on her T-shirt looking upset while Bolt runs into the arms of ‘Slovakian fashion designer’. One reader responded: ‘They make he mingle with white girls. She just divorce him and take aways his money’, while another added: ‘I hope when he’s ready to settle down he chooses a beautiful Jamaican black woman … In the meantime have fun “responsibly”, cause some “pretty girls” just a wait fi “lock u down” for the wrong reasons.’Others called Bolt ‘the next Tiger Woods’, referring to the mixed-race golfer and his £60million divorce settlement with Swedish former model Elin Nordegren.
Over the years, Bolt has earned a reputation as a ladies’ man and has previously been linked to British waitress Rebeckah Passley and Jamaican reality TV star Taneish ‘Lava’ Simpson.
A friend said: ‘Usain is a young man at the top of his game and did date a few women, but he has settled down now with Lubica.
‘It works because they are both successful and focused. She focuses on her designs, he focuses on his sport.
‘There is no stress in this relationship. She is a calm, very nice, industrious, busy woman. She has her own life so she isn’t demanding.’