Atkinson hails Bolt's influence in Jamaican sports
Swimmer Atkinson reveals how superstar supports Jamaica's athletes
He is regarded as the greatest sprinter in history, and loved by so many as a showman.
For swimmer Alia Atkinson, Usain Bolt is also an incredible cheerleader and supporter of Jamaican athletes.
"For the most part, he is very down to earth. He is sitting down beside you, he's playing games, he's talking to you," said Atkinson, yesterday.
The 26-year-old Jamaican swim star spoke to The New Paper about her country's famous track king on the sidelines of a talk she co-helmed with Australia's Emily Seebohm at the Singapore Sports Institute yesterday.
"He has a one-on-one approach, especially with athletes from Jamaica.
"He supports all the athletes from different sports, not just track and field, which is good."
Many expect next year's Rio Games to be Bolt's final Olympics, and the 29-year-old has hinted he will retire after the 2017 World Championships in London, but Atkinson believes Jamaican track and field will stay strong after he stops competing.
"Even though Bolt has been at the head of track and field for Jamaica for a while, the leadership has always been there," she said.
"We have others who have been in the sport for a long time, even though they may not be in the limelight.
"The structure and foundations are there, so Jamaican track and field will still be strong."
Atkinson has not decided when to call time on her own swimming career.
She has already competed in three Olympic Games, and won the women's 100m breaststroke at the short-course world championships in Doha last year, becoming the first black woman to win a world swimming title.
She also became the first Jamaican swimmer to win a medal at the world championships, where she finished third in the 100m breaststroke this year.
"I am getting better and better because I am working on short-term goals," said Atkinson, who will train here this week, after the Fina Swimming World Cup Singapore over the weekend.
"That's how I did it after London 2012. I wasn't sure if I was going on to Rio 2016 and took it one step at a time.
"I will evaluate where I am, where my mental state and body are after Rio next year."
She just missed out on an Olympic medal in the 100m breaststroke in 2012, and Atkinson is gunning for a "perfect" race in Rio 2016, even if it doesn't translate to a historic first Olympic swimming medal for her nation.
She said: "I won't give an arm and a leg for a medal. Growing up, my parents said, 'no matter what you do, make sure you are a great person to begin with'.
"I just want to go into the medal race calm and steady, and have a race that I can be proud of.
"It's hard to find a race where I can touch the wall and not think of anything I can nitpick on."