Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer column | 24 June 2013
|- from sportige.com|
When news broke that there was a doping allegation against Jamaica’s beloved Veronica Campbell-Brown, the country went into collective mourning. VCB is our ‘Golden Lady’ – her legendary career started when she was Sweet Sixteen – triumphing as a member of the girls’ 100x4 relay team in 1996 at the CAC Junior Championships in San Salvador. She has won 22 Gold medals, 15 silver and 3 bronze – she is the most decorated Jamaican athlete in our track and field history.
In one of the many ‘VCB discussions’ last week, attorney-at-law Sandra Phillips remarked that the athlete was beloved “because she always gives 150%”. How true – the moment VCB stands in her lane, we see a quiet determination, and when she takes off, every sinew in her body strains to give its utmost. We agreed that her dignity, her stately demeanour made her a credit to our country, a great role model for our youngsters.
I remember live-blogging as we lined up to see the 200m women’s final in Beijing in August 2008. “Is this Veronica’s night?” I asked. Several screams and heartbeats later, I was able to blog, “It WAS Veronica’s night! Gold again for Veronica in the 200m!! She won in tremendous style - smooth and strong! Kerron Stewart took the bronze!” - http://lowrie-chin.blogspot.com/2008/08/it-was-veronicas-night.html
|VCB after winning the 200m event in Bejing - China Daily photo|
The next day, the China Daily’s report was headlined, “Veronica keeps Jamaica on top”: “Campbell-Brown bolted out of her blocks and immediately gained on Felix. She powered through the first 50m and had the psychological nudge on Felix coming around the bend. She was 2m clear of the field, with Stewart neck-and-neck with Felix for second spot. But no one could catch Campbell-Brown whose fluid style saw her coast through to the finish line.”
These are the reliable, winning ways, of VCB – joyfully invading our consciousness! This is our tried-and-true sister, the one in whom we are truly well-pleased.
You can imagine therefore, the tear-filled Twitter timelines and Facebook pages after the doping allegations surfaced. Most of us refused to believe that she would deliberately do such a thing though there were the hard-hitting realists who told us to give up on our dreams. Sadly, there were also some very ugly comments in the vein of ‘now we know why those Jamaicans keep winning’.
It was with measured relief that we heard the opinion of IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies last week. Observer writer Paul Reid confirmed with him that he had said to an overseas reporter: "We can acknowledge that there is a case, but also take the opportunity to urge a sense of perspective... this seems, from evidence, to be a minor doping offence, according to our rules, so we want to remain realistic in our reaction, pending the conclusion of the case."
For us, VCB is family and we should continue to show our appreciation for the pride and joy she has brought us. We pray that the outcome will be just a small blip on her legendary run for our country.