News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Dec. 14, 2020: It’s been one year already since the passing of News Americas photographer, Hayden Roger Celestin, the photojournalist who captured the first record breaking moment of the now famous three-time Olympian Usain St. Leo Bolt.
The Tunapuna, Trinidad-born Celestin, a former a scholastic triple jumper as a high schooler and sports fan, captured the iconic moment for AFP and Getty Wire Services on May 31, 2008 at the Reebok Grand Prix, when the Jamaican sprinter won the Men’s 100-m ahead of the USA’s Tyson Gay and Darvis Patton to set a new world record of 9.72 seconds.
The photograph went around the world and is today, still available on Getty, keeping the career of the one of the Caribbean’s best international photographers alive.
Celestin lost his battle with a devastating stroke on Dec. 14, 2019, at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. He was 64.
The News Americas photographer since 2011, had suffered a stroke in recovery from a simple surgery in June at the Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. He had been in and out of hospitals ever since, including Downstate, as well as in rehab, unable to move. Celestin then suffered a deadly superbug at the Palm Gardens nursing home in Brooklyn, NY, that added to his ailments and served to further debilitate him.
News Americas Publisher Felicia J. Persaud, told NAN’s editorial team last night that her heart breaks all over today. “I can’t believe Roger has been gone a year already,” she said. “It seems like just yesterday and the loss is still hard to deal with. Jared, Jason, Hakim and I will miss him forever.”
Celestin was the third longest living dialysis patient in the world as prior to his death, he had also been on dialysis for a stunning 39 years, shocking many medical professionals with his ability to survive that long on the treatment. Celestin’s stroke had come amid his recovery from back surgery in 2015 that had left him learning to walk again.
The former Brooklyn-based, immigrant built an illustrious international career as a New York Press Association news photographer, work for several major publications including the New York Daily News and for top wire services like Getty, AFP and UPI, covering numerous major events including the NBA, the US Open, the UN and numerous world leaders including all of the Trinidadian prime ministers dating back to the 1980s, Presidential and local election campaigns, West Indian Carnival, as well as the celebrity scene including being a constant at the Letterman show. He is survived by several relatives and close friends.