Tuesday, August 19, 2008


My response to a grudging, covetous article circulating on the web not giving us fair credit for our efforts, trying to explain away our Olympic glory with genetics - OH REALLY??

We know that some will always try to find an easy, gratuitous way to explain away the achievements of developing countries. They do not wish to know that:

* Jamaica has the most comprehensive athletics programme, beginning at primary/prep school - Usain Bolt ran at the National Stadium at age six.

*We have the best local training - our athletes got faster after local coaches like Stephen Francis and Glen Mills created their own regimen so Jamaicans would no longer have to depend on overseas training

* We have a tradition of strong leadership and a secure decades-old democratic system that creates confidence in our people - National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey had a membership of 10 million in the UNIA in the 1950s before he was deported on trumped-up charges

* We have hybrid strength - hardly any Jamaican is "pure African". Usain Bolt's Dad is obviously mixed. All the races live harmoniously in Jamaica and have intermarried over the years.

* In the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) and the Sports Medicine Association of Jamaica, we have the finest set of expert volunteers who have been elected to the highest posts in world bodies. Teddy McCook is now the IAAF Representative for the Western Hemisphere. Mike Fennell was the Chairman of the last Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.

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