The Lightening Bolt struck again, happy birthday indeed, Usain Bolt! The boy from Trelawney, Jamaica has certainly made these Olympics his own and here in the Caribbean we are all celebrating again tonight, we have the gold and silver in the 200m as well.
It's been amazing listening to the commentators, including Ato Bolden slag off Bolt for being "too cocky". Um, right. For years we've had to endure the sight of Americans grandstanding, beating their chests, hurling shoes into the stands, even Ato's bare chest as he hauled his running kit down after every race. Honestly, you get used to sportsmen behaving like a**holes when they do something so you overlook it as the emotion of the moment. Bolt, at 21 is pretty self assured, not a bad thing to be if you're the fastest man in the world. And he just set another world record. Folks, if he wants to do his "lightening bolt", dance, brush his head, so what. Let's face it, he has had time on his hands in every race, to watch the rest of the field try to catch him, crossing the finishing line in enough time to turn around and look at everyone else. Let the man have his day in the sun and can your sour grapes.
Why is Jamaica succeeding so much on the sports stage? They have had an active sports programme for at least thirty years, starting with kids in primary school. That's the secret of their success, sustainable development. I know first hand how hard it is to get assistance for athletes in this country and I also know of the ones who fell by the wayside for lack of support. For all our money, we are not terribly evolved in our thinking.
Incidentally, Jamaica also had an active arts programme too. These are the two areas that the Caribbean receives the most recognition for, we have two Nobel Laureates from the region! Let this be a lesson to the Trinidadian Government. For all the money we throw at things, most our athletes still have to leave here to develop any talent they might possess as do our writers and artists. Handing out sums of money on occasion to elite athletes is not enough, nor is making empty promises about facilities. We need to start developing our people holistically from early on, recognising that if we want to have a "total quality nation" we must develop, encourage and most of all, be consistent.
Congratulations to all the athletes from the Caribbean, good luck to the Jamaican girls in tomorrow's womens' 200m final and Rene Quow in the men's 400m. We've done us all proud never mind the commentary. Now the waiting begins, men's 4x100......