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The gold rush

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Fri, Jul 27. 2012

Editor: Every 4 years the entire world makes a custom of competition called the Olympics, which rotates from country to country according to selection. In 2012, wave after wave of talented young men and women, from many parts of the world, descend upon London in search of gold.{{more}}

The feverish excitement to all sport lovers here and there is transmitted by all media. We are flooded by remarkable human feats in a wide array of events. We, in the English speaking Caribbean, in particular, have developed a special appetite for the sprints, partly because of the intense excitement and bubbling adrenaline which they induce and partly because of the lure of our own Caribbean athletes. However, the writer does not intend to deal at length with the heroic achievements of the Caribbean countries, in particular Jamaica, in the field of track athletics. Suffice it to say you have the likes of Arthur Wint, Herb Mckenley, Don Quarrie, Merlene Ottey and today Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Veronica Campbell-Browne and Shelly Ann Fraser who cover Jamaica in athletics glory. Since in or about the 1940s to the present these famous athletes, among others, have been inspirations from generation to generation. That accounts, in the main, for Jamaica’s dominance, so widely heralded in the sprint events in the athletics world of today.

The issue for us in the less developed countries of the Caribbean is how do we achieve stardom? Is it with infrastructure, cash, high-powered personnel and bigness? Our humble Kirani James of Grenada, a strong contender for the 400m Olympic title, Rondell Bartholomew of Grenada, a World Championship finalist in the 400m, Daniel Bailey of Antigua, Kim Collins of St Kitts – another sprinter of note, have all shown that the price of supreme dedication, combined with their raw talent, empowers you to achieve on a world stage in sprint athletics. These distinguished Caribbean athletes set their accomplishments high in the reckoning for their countries. Will the current generation be inspired to the point where the good of the Olympics is spread in word and deed throughout the world? The inspiration of which we talk is to follow their lead. Our belief must be reflected in our spirit in action of the well-worn Olympic mantra “ higher, faster, stronger”. It makes no sense for us to feel consigned to a life of hopelessness on account of size and relative poverty. We can, we will – hence it’s time to intensify our efforts in all spheres of human endeavour. We in the West Indies when we put our full power together, are capable of soaring to new heights!

Once the world accepts our brilliance, wouldn’t we acquire the unaddressed spin-offs like organisation, togetherness, oneness, comity, respect, excellence, physical and mental fitness, economic and social development through tourism, investment, education, national discipline and pride? There are many more you can think of, those I have mentioned are just a start!

R. Andrew Cummings

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