Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jamaica: Investigate Killing of Human Rights Defender

For Immediate Release
From Human Rights Watch
Jamaica: Investigate Killing of Human Rights Defender
Tragic Death of Clover Graham, Advocate for Refugees, Asylum Seekers
The altruistic, vivacious Clover Graham who was passionately dedicated to obtaining justice for the poorest of the poor.

(Washington, DC, August 29, 2012) – Police should ensure that the investigation into the death of the refugee and asylum advocate Clover Graham is effective, thorough, and impartial, Human Rights Watch said today.
Graham's body was discovered with her throat slit in St. Catherine, Jamaica, on August 19, 2012.
"It is critically important for authorities to act with urgency to find those responsible for this deplorable attack on a dedicated human rights defender," said Bill Frelick, Refugee Program director at Human Rights Watch.
Graham had worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 1998, serving most recently as its liaison for Jamaica, as well as in a legal aid clinic. She also lectured at the University of West Indies Law School and Jamaica's Institute of Technology.
Police have opened an investigation into Graham's murder but have not yet identified or detained any suspects in the case, according to news reports.
In November 2007, Graham's son and his girlfriend were also murdered in Jamaica, likewise found with their throats slit, after they took medical supplies to men with whom they had previously had a car accident. Two men were convicted for the crime in June 2012, and are to be sentenced in September.
"Graham's untimely death is a devastating loss for the refugees and asylum seekers she assisted, and for the broader human rights community in Jamaica," Frelick said.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Haiti reels after Tropical Storm Isaac

News from Robin Mahfood and Food for the Poor Intl Team

Robin wanted to share with you the news from Haiti, as the country struggles to recover from the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac. Nine people have died as a result of the storm. The impact of the storm was widespread with Thomazeau, Jacmel, St. Marc, and Croix des Bouquets being hardest hit. In the southern area by Jacmel, the agricultural damage was extensive and this will make it even harder for the local residents to have sufficient food, as they rely on those crops for the foundation of their food source. More food aid will be required as they replant.
A lot of the damage was from roofs being pulled off by the high winds and the amount of time the storm swirled over the island. Many repairs will be required to ensure the safety of the people in those homes.
In other areas, Rachel's school and the village in Kay Piti came through in good shape. We are attaching some photos for you of the agricultural damage, as well as some of the homes that came through in good shape. Food For The Poor homes were able to provide safe shelter for thousands during this storm. It is more critical now than ever that we get more people out of tents and into our safe structures. If people want to help, that is how they can be most effective.
Our feeding center in Port-au-Prince opened as usual this morning and will be serving 15,000 hot meals today. Food For The Poor did incur some damage to the warehouse roof, but it did not delay relief efforts.
Please find attached the coverage of Food For The Poor for the last few days from local and national media.
We also are attaching some photos that staff photographer Ben Rusnak took in the field over the weekend. The first two show the agricultural damage in Jacmel. The third photo is from a family that has a Food For The Poor home and came through unscathed. The other photos show the vulnerability of the population that still needs our help!
August 24: NBC News posted a photo taken by Benjamin Rusnak on their homepage. This photo link led the coverage for several hours in the evening.
Aug. 27: CNN International "As Isaac approaches, what about Haiti?" By Wyclef JeanThere are. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Oxfam, the International Medical Corps, Project Medishare, Doctors Without Borders, Food For The Poor, J/P HRO, Donna Karan's Urban Zen organization, and We Advance, just to name a few, have done and continue to do outstanding work. But after the earthquake, most (including the media) stopped paying attention, either believing they had done all they could, or maybe because they were simply tired or overwhelmed.
August 24: The Ledger "Isaac Threatens Haiti's Homeless Population – Earthquake victims brace for flooding; storm strengthens as its projected track shifts back eastward toward Florida." By Trenton Daniel, The Associated Press
August 24: NBC Channel 6 "Rain Leading To Flooding and Mudslides a Concern As Isaac Nears Haiti"
And the organization
Food For The Poor is already helping – distributing what's needed to 24 different locations with staff members in Haiti monitoring the storm – a storm that has many people in South Florida concerned.
August 24: NBC Channel 6 "First responders Prepare for Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti The American Red Cross and Food For The Poor are among the organizations responding"Food for the Poor
The Coconut Creek-based international relief and development organization says it has sent provisions to 24 distribution centers in Haiti before the storm arrives, and staff members are on alert there to monitor developments. Meantime,
Food for the Poor has more supplies ready at its Coconut Creek warehouse. It asks people to make donations to cover the cost of shipping and help provide immediate relief to Haitians here.

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Integrity in Leadership

Today's Leadership Nugget from Sidjae Robinson

"This above all: To thine own self be true.''  -  Polonius in Hamlet by W. Shakespeare

"Integrity" - A word loosely used in many value statements and by many persons in leadership yet rarely experienced by those who follow them. Integrity - soundness of moral and ethical character; uprightness; steadfast adherence to that which is good and right. We exist in a world of multiple opinions. There are those who expect integrity as long as they are not negatively affected. A few expect integrity regardless of the outcome. Some expect integrity when it serves the greater good. Yet still others base their expectancy of integrity depending on the circumstances. How should leaders conduct themselves?

Numerous studies have confirmed that integrity leads to trust. This trust offers leaders have a remarkable opportunity to influence followers to operate in like fashion. Though some, even many, may not agree with you, they will always respect a leader who is upright and who takes a stand for what is good and right. History has celebrated such persons - Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela. How do you wish to be remembered? As one who was integruous, or as a flip-flop? Can those who follow you trust that you will be consistent and steadfast in your adherence to what is good and right? Will history say that you were true to yourself or that you were swayed by the crowd? As a leader, how have you contributed to making the world a better place? 

To Your Unlimited Possibilities,
Sidjae Walia
Training that expands your mind and life
"The mind, once expanded to dimensions of bigger ideas, never returns to its original size" - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Twitter ID:
(647) 927 9289

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Treasure Beach Triumphs with Digicel Prize of $2.3M in National Best Competition




TREASURE BEACH CELEBRATES: Denise Wedderburn (left), Project Coordinator for the Treasure Beach Community Development Committee (CDC) has a victory chat with (from left) Fern Falconer Luecke, the CDC's PR officer, Kerry Jo Lyn, Digicel Foundation's Programmes Manager and Jason Henzell, Chairman of the BREDS Foundation of  Treasure Beach. Treasure Beach placed first in the 2011-2012 National  Best Communities Competition and Programme. The Digicel Foundation  will award the community with $2 million for coming in first at the national level and $300,000 for having placed first at the parish  level. The awards ceremony took place at the Stella Maris Church Pastoral Centre on Thursday, August 23.


Kingston, Jamaica – Friday, August 24 2012: The top three winners of the National Best Communities Competition and Programme (NBCCP) were announced yesterday at the Stella Maris Church Pastoral Centre in Kingston. Copping first prize was Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth. This community will receive $2 million from the Digicel Foundation. In second place was Mount Peto, Hanover and coming third was Runaway Bay, St. Ann. These two communities will get $500,000 from the Jamaica National Building Society and $250,000 from the Tourism Enhancement Fund, respectively.


In addition to the top national prize, Digicel Foundation awards $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 to each of the 13 first, second and third place winners, respectively, at the parish level of the Competition. The three national winners were chosen from the following first place parish winners: Irish Town, Kingston and St. Andrew; Port Morant, St. Thomas; Balcarres, Portland; Jeffrey Town, St. Mary; Runaway Bay, St. Ann; Albert Town, Trelawny; Flanker, St. James; Mount Peto, Hanover; Petersville, Westmoreland; Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth; Grove Place, Manchester; Curatoe Hill/Canaan Heights, Clarendon, and Bushy Park, St. Catherine.


The NBCCP was launched in 2006 to encourage the development of sustainable communities through their involvement in a variety of activities that promote local governance, self-help and self-reliance. Of the 783 communities in Jamaica, 248, comprising 1456 districts, took part in the 2011-2012 competition.


Cash awards are also given to selected communities in each parish, based on their work in the following areas: culture and heritage; youth development; community spirit and self-reliance; most beautiful; most improved agricultural practices; best kept facilities; best kept educational institution and best visitor's experience.


CORPORATE SUPPORT FOR BEST COMMUNITY PROGRAMME: Custos of St. Andrew,  Marigold Harding (left) and Jacqueline DaCosta, Chair of the National  Best Community Foundation (NBCCP), chat with Earl Jarrett, General Manager of Jamaica National Building Society, and Major General Robert Neish (right), Executive Vice-Chairman of the Digicel Foundation, who represent two major sponsors of the Programme. They are seen at the Competition's August 23 awards ceremony at the Stella Maris Church Pastoral Centre. Treasure Beach in St. Elizabeth placed first in the  Competition and will receive a $2 million prize from the Digicel Foundation, while Jamaica National will award Mount Peto of Hanover $500,000 for placing second.


Of these, the Best Cultural and Heritage Programme prize winner was Grove Place, Manchester.  Best Youth Development Programme and Best Community Spirit and Self Reliance titles were presented to Mount Peto, Hanover; Grove Place, Manchester; Bushy Park, St. Catherine and Flanker, St. James. Most Beautiful Community, Most Improved Agricultural Practices, Best Kept Community Facilities and Best Visitor Experience prizes were awarded to Mount Peto. Best Kept Educational Institution prizes went to Mount Peto and Grove Place, Manchester.


"The work achieved at the community level is an inspiration, and shows that as a nation we have the potential to become self-reliant," remarked Samantha Chantrelle, Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation. She added, "In recognition of the tireless work of community members and in celebration of our 50th anniversary of Independence, the Foundation has invested an additional $5million this year to support a Capacity Building Programme for 50 communities across the island."


For the past four years, the Digicel Foundation has served as one of NBCCP's major partners committing $10 million annually to the Competition. This year the Foundation has invested a total of $15 million, bringing the total invested to date to $55 million. This year's contribution supports the National Best Community Foundation (NBCF), the Capacity Building Programme, and prizes for winners at several levels in the Competition.


 "This competition and programme would not have been possible without our major partner, the Digicel Foundation, and other partners like the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Social Development Commission and so many others including the Jamaica Observer," noted Jacqueline daCosta, Chairperson of the NBCF.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Great inning Mark Linehan!

Departing Digicel CEO Mark Linehan was fĂȘted by PROComm at a farewell cocktail party at the company's Kingsway office on Wednesday.

Colin Hamilton's camera captured some light-hearted moments from this event for Gleaner's 'Something Extra'.
Digicel's Antonia Graham and CEO Mark Linehan pose with hostess Jean Lowrie-Chin.
From left: Wray & Nephew's Gary Dixon, Cecil Smith and Greta Bogues in an animated conversation at the farewell function for Mark Linehan. They provided an enticing courtesy bar contributing to the event's high spirits.

Angela Foote escorts Digicel CEO Mark Linehan into the party.

Jean Lowrie-Chin presents a gift to Mark Linehan, departing Digicel CEO.
Newly-weds Tricia and Nari Williams-Singh received a surprise wedding gift from Jean Lowrie-Chin and the ProComm family.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bolt the main attraction at Manchester United vs Fulham

Forget Van Persie... Bolt the main attraction at Manchester United against Fulham

Thank you for link Wayne Chen!

By Sportsmail Reporter - UK Mail Online


Usain Bolt was the guest of honour at Manchester United's Premier League encounter with Fulham at Old Trafford.
The charismatic six-time Olympic gold medallist is a long-standing United fan and recently suggested he wanted to play for the club.
That will never happen in a competitive game. Instead Bolt will have to make do with watching his favourites in action as they look to get their season up and running after Monday's defeat at Everton.

The sprint champion was presented to the crowd and greeted by chants of, 'Sign him up, Fergie, Fergie, sign him up.'
Robin van Persie also had his moment in the spotlight, handed a first start following his summer move from Arsenal. The man he replaced? Wayne Rooney.
Sir Alex Ferguson spent the week praising the Dutchman's decision to join United at a time when so many targets, including Eden Hazard and Samir Nasri, have opted to go elsewhere.

Read more:

Bolt and Blake deliver in Diamond League

Super Usain does it again: Bolt dazzles in Lausanne

Olympic champion produced a stunning run in the 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Switzerland 

The Mirror - UK

- from The Mirror

Ultimate showman Usain Bolt picked up in Lausanne where he left off in London, playing air guitar on his blocks before cruising to victory in the 200m.
And his training partner Yohan Blake provided more evidence of his growing threat when he ran 9.69sec in the 100m to blow away a worldclass field in the Diamond League meeting.
While it was all about business for Blake, for Bolt it was about having fun after his triple gold medal success at the Olympics.
He looked even more relaxed than normal - if that's possible - and entertained the adoring crowd at the Pontaise Stadium with a spontaneous performance on his air guitar.
Bolt then put down his imaginary guitar to run 19.58sec in the 200m in near perfect, still conditions to beat his own meeting record to destroy the star-studded field.
"The guitar was just fun," he smiled. "I heard the music and it just came to me. I heard the music playing so I just did it."
Strike a pose: Blake joins his pal Usain Bolt to celebrate their victories in the Diamond League - Mail-Online
Bolt was one of the first people to congratulate Blake on his stunning run and claimed he knew his pal would clock a fast time.
"I could tell that Yohan was going to run fast," said the Jamaican superstar.
"I see him in training and he wants to run even faster than he is now. I predicted 9.72 and he managed to run a bit faster."
Incredibly, Blake revealed after his sensational performance against a field, which included Tyson Gay, that he has been ill all week with a cold. 'The Beast' would love to race more regularly against Bolt, who beat him at London 2012, but feels their head-toheads may cost more than promoters would be willing to pay.
"Definitely I'd love to race against Usain," said the 100m world champion.
"I run with him every day because he's my training partner. I love training with him.
"It would take big money and I don't know if it will happen.
"I'm very happy with my time. I'm fighting a cold, I've been sick all week, but thank God I recovered.
"I'm getting there. I hoped I would run fast and I think with more races, I can only get better and better."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yes indeed! Out of Many One!

Our PROComm Team is elated after the big Jamaican 1-2-3 in the London Olympics 200-metre event.
by Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer column | 20 August 2012

Marie related her experience in a buffet line. The server, who had been asking the persons ahead of her what part of the chicken they would like, unceremoniously dumped a piece on her plate without asking. My friend Marie calmly asked why the server had not enquired of her preference. After the server’s rude shrug, Marie finally got her choice.

Our discussion was about shade prejudice. My friend Marie has cool, dark skin and was explaining that she has suffered from shade prejudice right here in Jamaica from her very own people. I told her that I had similar experiences. “Sometimes it seems I am not black enough to have an opinion on anything Jamaican,” I told her.

Thankfully, we are still far ahead of the race curve – literally and figuratively – in Jamaica.  Perhaps those who would want to change our national motto, “Out of Many, One People”, have had embittering experiences. However, it is beyond question that Jamaica is a “rainbow tribe”, as Josephine Baker described her many-coloured children.

Check the Sumfest line-up – there was Shabba, Shaggy, Tessanne and Junior Gong backed by musicians with shaved heads and locks to their waists. Taking the argument further, if non-blacks are not truly Jamaican, are we to jettison George William Gordon and Alexander Bustamante from the ranks of our National Heroes? And should we therefore disown Bob Marley, since his father was white?  Will the UWI Mona folks who refuse to accept non-blacks as Jamaicans forgo their salaries and professorial chairs, since they are so heavily subsidised by non-black business owners who contribute significantly to our national coffers?
Our dear “Miss Lou’ Louise Bennett wrote these lines as she pondered the race brouhaha:
“Me know seh dat yuh great great great Granma was African,
 But Mattie, doan yuh great great great
Granpa was Englishman?

“Den yuh great granmodder fader
By yuh fader side was Jew?
An yuh granpa by yuh modder side
Was Frenchie parlez-vous?

“But de balanca a yuh family,
Yuh whole generation,Oonu all bawn dung a Bung Grung –
Oonu all is Jamaican!”

Indeed, as we donned our black, green and gold to celebrate Jamaica 50 and Jamaica’s fittest at the London Olympics, there was nothing fake about our pride. Jamaicans of African, Indian, Chinese and European descent jumped for joy as shown in the photograph of the folks in my office posted on my Facebook page. Vicki, a blend of every one of these races, is the one banging the pot cover!

From our melting pot has emerged hybrid strength and some of the most attractive people in the world!  The biggest threat to our motto is not race, it is political tribalism.
What a wonderful interview we heard last Thursday on RJR with Sir Howard Cooke, former governor general and the only surviving founding member of the People’s National Party.  This legendary 96-year-old related to Earl Moxam that, on taking up office as minister of education, he consulted his JLP predecessor Edwin Allen, who explained the various alliances the ministry had forged with such agencies as the World Bank and CIDA. Sir Howard’s objective was to serve his people in the most efficient manner possible, not to cast aside or belittle the achievements of the Opposition party.

Last Friday, we celebrated the 125th birthday of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, our first National Hero. This great philosopher of the 20th century, this world leader who influenced the march to independence of several African states, appealed for unity: “There is a world of opportunities awaiting us,” he said, “and it is for us through unity of will and purpose, to say we shall and we will play our part upon the great human stage of activity.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Usain Bolt: The heart of a lion

Three lessons in career success from a 'living legend'

Published: Daily Gleaner | Wednesday | August 15,
 by Glenford Smith, Career Writer
"If I dominate the Olympics, I'll be a living legend. A living legend walking around. Sounds good," said double Olympic record holder Usain Bolt in the pre-Olympic exclusive BBC Sports documentary by French producer/director Gael Leiblang.
Well, apart from International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge, at least initially, the world got the news, Mr Bolt: You are now a living legend, walking around!
In the eyes of many, Bolt was already a living legend after his 2008 Beijing Olympic exploits. Retaining his 100m and 200m sprint titles at the London Games can leave no doubt in anyone's mind. A legend is defined as an extraordinarily famous or notable person - need I say more?
Bolt had to overcome doubters, haters and critics - constructive and otherwise - to achieve his unprecedented feat. He had to transcend negative public speculations and perhaps personal doubts after his unexpected double loss to training partner Yohan Blake at the Jamaica Olympic trials. And he did.
And in the process, Usain St Leo Bolt showed the true heart of lion, and gave us the following amazing lessons for succeeding in our careers.
Bolt set his goal to be a living legend. And he declared it to the world. The biggest mistake most people make is not having compelling goals. They don't believe they can attain great things and simply settle for mediocrity.
You may not see how you'll achieve them as yet, but have great aspirations for your career and your life, nonetheless. Decide what kind of job you truly desire. Set a goal for how much money you want to make. Be specific. Set milestones to measure your progress. Set a target date for success.
Usain Bolt's self-confidence has been mischaracterised as arrogance and 'showboating' by some. In my view, these misguided people are trumpeting the gospel of false modesty under the guise of promoting humility. Don't buy into this.
To be your best and do your best, you must believe you can. While always being open to learn from others, never let anyone ridicule your dreams and tell you: 'You? You can't be a doctor!'; 'Who do you think you are?'; or 'Be realistic; that's not possible'.
Believe in your power to excel and make a difference. Bolt is a winner because he never lost faith in himself.
Bolt has said repeatedly that he is lazy. He likes to party and enjoy himself. He hates the discipline of practice and maintains no dietary regimen.
Here's the thing though: Once his coach says it's time to buckle down, he gets really serious. He stops partying. Women are put on hold. And he becomes a workhorse. In short, Bolt does whatever it takes to win. He pays the price for his success.
You must do the same. Unless you can sacrifice; unless you can develop the discipline to study, practise and grow, you can't succeed big.
The price for success is temporary failure, embarrassment, struggle, patience and incredibly hard work.
Join the ranks of rare individuals, like Bolt, who willingly pay the high price of success.
It's worth it.
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of a new book 'From Problems to Power: How to Win Over Worry and Turn Your Obstacles into Opportunities'.
If you can't win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record.
- Unknown

Dark chocolate 'may lower blood pressure'

There may be good news for people looking for an excuse to munch on a couple of squares of chocolate after a review showed the treat could reduce blood pressure.
An analysis of 20 studies showed that eating dark chocolate daily resulted in a slight reduction in blood pressure.
The Cochrane Group's report said chemicals in cocoa, chocolate's key ingredient, relaxed blood vessels.
However, there are healthier ways of lowering blood pressure.
The theory is that cocoa contains flavanols which produce a chemical in the body called nitric oxide. This 'relaxes' blood vessels making it easier for blood to pass through them, lowering the blood pressure.

However, studies have thrown up mixed results. The Cochrane analysis combined previous studies to see if there was really an effect.
There was a huge range in the amount of cocoa consumed, from 3g to 105g a day, by each participant. However, the overall picture was a small reduction in blood pressure.
A systolic blood pressure under 120mmHg (millimetres of mercury) is considered normal. Cocoa resulted in a 2-3mmHg reduction in blood pressure. However, the length of the trials was only two weeks so the longer term effects are unknown.
Lead researcher Karin Ried, from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia, said: "Although we don't yet have evidence for any sustained decrease in blood pressure, the small reduction we saw over the short term might complement other treatment options and might contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease."
High blood pressure is both common and deadly. It has been linked to 54% of strokes worldwide and 47% of cases of coronary heart disease.
However, chocolate packs plenty of fat and sugar as well as cocoa so is not the ideal way of lowering blood pressure.
Dark or milk? There has also been a warning in the Lancet medical journal that dark chocolate may contain fewer flavanols than you might think. Dark chocolate contains a higher cocoa count than milk chocolate so should contain more flavanols, however, they can also be removed as they have a bitter taste.
Victoria Taylor, of the British Heart Foundation, said: "It's difficult to tell exactly what sort of quantities of flavanol-rich cocoa would be needed to observe a beneficial effect and the best way for people to obtain it.
"With most of the studies carried out over a short period of time it's also not possible to know for sure whether the benefits could be sustained in the long term. The 100g of chocolate that had to be consumed daily in a number of the studies would also come with 500 calories - that's a quarter of a woman's recommended daily intake.
"Beans, apricots, blackberries and apples also contain flavanols and, while containing lower amounts than in cocoa, they won't come with the unhealthy extras found in chocolate."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Birthday Gift for Marcus Garvey

A message from Geoffrey Philp

Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for signing the petition. Your actions have proven that you are willing to take a stand for justice and human rights. Unfortunately, many others do not think as you do and the campaign has suffered because there are many within our communities who believe that Marcus Garvey's exoneration is a waste of time and that his ideas are no longer relevant.

I won't bother preaching to the choir, but I need you more than ever to spread the word about the petition.    As of today, the petition to exonerate Marcus Garvey has 913 signatures. Our target is 5,000, which we would like to meet by Friday, August 17, 2012, Marcus Garvey's birthday.

Under the Obama administration we have an opportunity to LEVERAGE our VOTES for something that our community desires.

Although Marcus Garvey does not need to be exonerated in our eyes, the Rootz Foundation, Institute for Caribbean Studies, and the Marcus Garvey Celebrations Committee are using this strategy as part of a larger goal of the PUBLIC restoration/rehabilitation of the good name and character of our hero, Marcus Garvey.
  I am asking for your help to meet this goal by doing the following at least once this week. Every day would be great!  

1. Featuring the petition on your FB page    

2. Tweeting to friends and contacts, especially media contacts: Our goal: PUBLIC restoration of the good name of #MarcusGarvey: #PanAfrican #AfricanAmerican #Caribbean ;    

3. Emailing the petition to at least 10 friends and URGING them to sign.   One Love, Geoffrey

"Never underestimate the power of a few committed individuals to change the world.  Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jamaica’s homegrown Olympic glory

Usain Bolt flanked by devoted parents Jennifer and Wellesly Bolt

by Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer column | 13 August 2012
The exploits of our Team Jamaica in the London 2012 Olympics have enriched our Golden Jubilee.  For us praying people, it was providential. How could it be that on the actual anniversary date, August 6, we saw Usain Bolt getting the gold, his team-mate Yohan Blake the silver, and two Jamaican flags ascending to the strains of our National Anthem in our former mother country? The day before, our ‘Pocket Rocket’ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and our beloved Veronica Campbell Brown received gold and bronze. Our crowning glory was the 1-2-3 of Bolt, Blake and newcomer Warren Weir in the 200-metre – all three flagpoles waved black, green and gold!

What is even more significant is that our team members, with a few exceptions, were trained right here in our sunny isle. Usain Bolt’s book, ‘Usain Bolt – My Story’, describes a decent, humble Jamaican upbringing in Sherwood Content, Trelawny, with a supportive family, teachers and coaches. 

“My happy personality and laid-back style which the public sees is not an act,” writes Usain Bolt. “It is exactly how I am away from athletics and comes from the way I was brought up.  Mom and Dad would never go around cussing or arguing … Dad was big on discipline and respect to him for that, because it’s what made me the person I am today.”

Bolt describes his  Dad as ‘a rules man’: “To make sure I was never late for school he would get me up at 5.30am, even though William Knibb – which was half-an-hour’s drive away – started at 8am.”  He speaks fondly of his Aunt Lilly who still gives him yam from her farm, his late grandfather who would treat him to huge helpings of fresh, warm milk each week.  He is close to his maternal grandmother who ‘prays the whole time’ when he leaves her to drive to Kingston ‘and I have to ring her the minute I get there.’

Jennifer and Wellesly Bolt are the opposite of those shady parents who live high on scamming children.   Usain writes, “They have never lived a grand life and didn’t want to move to some flashy place away from the community, so I’ve helped them extend their house … My Dad is weird, he doesn’t like to ask for anything and prefers to work for his money.  Mom will ask but that might only be for the bus fare back to Trelawny from Kingston.”

Bolt’s parents are helpful and courteous members of their community: “Long before I was famous they were both well known in the community, and would help anyone out.  Dad always had a ‘good morning’ and a ‘good afternoon’ for everyone, which is how I learned to be well-mannered and polite.’

Usain with legendary coach Glen Mills
The book includes a piece by coach Glen Mills, the man who trained the three Jamaicans – Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, who stunned the world with their clean sweep  last Thursday.  “My attitude towards coaching is not one-dimensional; it is also geared towards acquiring life skills,” says Coach Mills. “I’ve tried to get them to understand the skills and values of life. So that they not only fulfill their potential as athletes but are also balanced people.”
Coach Mills was put in charge of Bolt after the athlete’s disappointing outing in the 2004 Olympics and his pulling up in the 2005 Helsinki World Championships.  Mills’ strategy of running Bolt against his major competitors met with ‘fierce opposition’. 

“When the rest of the world condemned us, following his numerous defeats, I felt assured that my strategy was justified, as Usain did not question my method,” says Mills.  After the Beijing Olympics and Berlin World Championships, Coach Mills was still not satisfied: “We are about 75 percent along the way of what we’re aiming to do, but a major part of what we have to do is to develop a greater deal of explosive strength.”  We are seeing the development in Usain’s physique – those sparkling seconds take years of hard work. 
Usain Bolt’s humility is well-known.  It was reflected in his interview with Daily Mail reporter Laura Williamson after winning the 100-metre event as he reflected on being beaten twice in the National Trials by his team-mate Yohan Blake: “The trials gave me a wake-up call. Yohan knocked on my door and said, ‘Usain, this is Olympic year’. So I’m grateful for that.”
Maxine Simpson - Mother of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is from the inner city community of Waterhouse in Kingston where she had a strong Christian upbringing, evidenced in her post-race testimony.  The Wolmers’ graduate has continued her studies at UTECH  for her degree programme even as she trained for the Olympics. 
Veronica Campbell-Brown has been an enduring role model – we will never forget her gold in the Athens and Beijing Olympics. Nor can we forget Brigitte Foster-Hylton’s and Melaine Walker’s past stellar performances.

After the euphoria, we hope that JAMPRO will be given a mandate to examine the opportunities presented by Jamaica’s athletic stardom and transform them into job-creating projects for sustainable development. 

Usain Bolt’s publicist Carole Beckford wants us to join with our high-performing Caribbean neighbours to create ‘a Caribbean oasis of athletics’.  She wrote on her blog, “With agencies like CEDA, CARICOM ... we can make this happen. Drop the politics! We have tons of Caribbean people who are great influencers … to get this train running.” Let’s roll.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Fantastic Finishers!!

Team Jamaica brings the London Olympics to a dazzling finale with a World Record 4x100 Relay - 36.84 fast and furious seconds!!

Friday, August 10, 2012


Bolt breaks another Olympic record on Twitter

From On The Ground News Report - Facebook - 26 minutes ago

Sprint King Usain Bolt broke another record yesterday with over 80,000 tweets per minute on the social networking site Twitter. The micro-blogging site confirmed the feat by Bolt "@twitter: Record alert! @usainbolt sets a new Olympic Games conversation record with over 80,000 TPM for his 200m victory. #Olympics."
Bolt led Jamaica's medal sweep in a time of 19.34s ahead of both his teammates and compatriots, Yohan Blake (19.44s) and Warren Weir (19.87s).

Previous Report: Bolt sets Olympic record for tweets per minute; reaches 1 million followers

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bolt, Blake, Weir - united we stand

Gleaner: Usain Bolt flanked by Yohan Blake (left) and Warren Weir after receiving their Olympic medals in the 200M Event today. - Ricardo Makyn photo

Usain Bolt - 316 million results on Google!

  1. Usain Bolt
    London 2012
    Aug 9Men's 200m FinalGold‎ 19.32 sec
    Aug 5ORMen's 100m FinalGold‎ 9.63 sec
    Aug 8Men's 200m Semifinals (#2)1st‎ 20.18 sec
    Aug 5Men's 100m Semifinals (#2)1st‎ 9.87 sec
    Aug 7Men's 200m Round 1 (#1)1st‎ 20.39 sec
    Aug 4Men's 100m Round 1 (#4)1st‎ 10.09 sec
    All times are in EST
  2. News for Usain Bolt

    1. Usain Bolt v David Rudisha: battle of the world record holders
      Sydney Morning Herald‎ - 22 minutes ago
      There is one man who could conceivably beat Usain Bolt. His name is David Rudisha and before today he was probably the greatest runner ...
  3. Usain Bolt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Usain St. Leo "Lightning" Bolt, OJ, C.D. is a Jamaican sprinter widely known as the fastest man ever. He is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 ...
  4. Usain Bolt
    Usain Bolt successfully defended his 100 metres title at the London Olympics with an impressive 9.63 seconds on Sunday, August 5. Although Bolt was jubilant ...
  5. Usain Bolt wins Olympic gold in 200 meters, 1st man to win back-to ...
    5 hours ago – Usain Bolt wins 200-meter gold to become first man to win back-to-back sprint doubles; Jamaicans also win silver, bronze.
  6. Usain Bolt Nabs Photographer's DSLR, Snaps Awesome POV Shots

    Michael Zhang
    4 hours ago – Ever wonder what it's like to be the world's fastest man winning a gold medal at the Olympics? Usain Bolt wants you to know. After sprinting to ...
  7. Usain Bolt | Facebook
    Born · December · November · October · September · August. Usain Bolt is on Facebook. To connect with Usain Bolt, sign up for Facebook today. Sign UpLog In ...
  8. Usain St. Leo Bolt (usainbolt) on Twitter
    Awww RT @usainbolt: A lot a thanks goes out to the greatest coach ever. "Glen Mills" Really blessed the day the ... Retweeted by Usain St.
  9. Images for Usain Bolt

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  10. Usain Bolt blazes into history books with 200m win: athletics – live ... › SportOlympics 2012: athletics
    8 hours ago – Rolling report: Jamaica's Usain Bolt became the first man to successfully defend the men's 100m and 200m Olympic sprint titles, while David ...
  11. Usain Bolt | Sport | The Guardian
    Latest news and comment on Usain Bolt from
  12. Usain Bolt captures 200m gold medal in Jamaican sweep - CBC ...
    6 hours ago – Usain Bolt won the men's 200-metre event on Thursday in London, clocking in a time of 19.32 seconds to lead a Jamaican sweep.
  13. Videos for Usain Bolt

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