I listened and read some of the unfortunate statements that has surfaced from some quarters, after the brilliant performances of Jamaica’s athletes at the Beijing and more recently the London Olympics.
As I age, I seek to be more objective, less impetuous, I make greater effort to seek out common ground with those with whom I disagree, or conversely those who disagree with me, with a view to at least understanding how people who disagree with me feel, or at least walk away with an understanding of how they arrived at their perspective.
As such, the comments of former American Olympian Carl Lewis, is the most unfortunate and painful,of all the chatter. Lewis’ statements are the most troubling for me, because on the face of it ,we could argue he is bad-minded, envious, angry, jealous, whatever. We may find a whole slew of explanations for Mister Lewis’ outburst at the Jamaican contingent’s success, and particularly that of world recorder holder Usain Bolt.
Following Bolt’s performance in Beijing, Lewis told Sports Illustrated: “Countries like Jamaica do not have a random program, so they can go months without being tested. I’m not saying anyone is on anything, but everyone needs to be on a level playing field.Read more: http://http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/10/bolt-no-respect-for-carl-lewis/
“If you don’t question that in a sport that has the reputation it has right now, you’re a fool,” Lewis said. “Period.”http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-usain-bolt-rips-carl-lewis-may-lose-some-american-support-20120810,0,4663081.story
I feel a certain sense of sorrow at mister Lewis’ statements because of the deeper underlying reasons I believe we are still waging this war against each other as great , great grand-children of slaves. No one was more proud when Carl Lewis was winning his medals in the 80’s, for me his victories were our victories, all Jamaicans cheered Lewis and Riddick and Williams and all other American athletes of color who rose above the vicious assault of Jim Crowe in America, to dominate track and field the way Mohamed Ali Had persevered to dominate and inspire the world even after being imprisoned.
Shelly Anne Fraser-Pryce , fastest woman in the world.
Our unique Jamaican-ness makes us identify with people wherever and whenever they struggle for freedom justice, and basic human rights,and dignity. As our leaders have fought to get Nelson Mandel released from that horrible prison-cell on Robin Island in South Africa, so too did we cheer for mister Lewis when he won, his victories were our victories, he was one of us.
Even though we had our own athletes in those Olympics, Lewis’ victories represented something bigger for us, it was more that sports, those victories were political statements to the fortitude and the indomitable spirt of oppressed people to persevere to survive and to triumph.
Jamaican Olympic team.
Comments coming from the usual sources do not bother me much, after all those who were for generations used to having unfair advantages ,were not going to believe others can compete successfully and win without the benefits of those advantages they were used to having.
Chairman of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), Professor Winston Davidson, is describing claims by a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), that it is difficult to find and test Jamaican athletes, as “a vicious attack on a small country”. Davidson’s comments came moments after he emerged from a meeting with JADCO board members who spent the greater part of yesterday combing through their database to find evidence to back up the claim by the IOC official.
Professor Winston Davidson:
The members turned up empty-handed in their search.“What Mr (Dick) Pound said was blatantly false. We knew it was spurious, but we spent the whole day trying to find evidence of it,” Davidson said.“We don’t think they would do this to America and other bigger countries. It is a vicious attack on a small country,” Davidson fumed.http://http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20120814/lead/lead1.html
The euphoria on the faces of Shelly Anne Fraser-Pryce and others messers Lewis and Pound, is not that which you are used to seeing from some of your own country-folk and colleagues, these are the expressions of pure unadulterated ,joy from accomplishing against all odds.
The thrill of victory from hard work, perseverance, and succeeding when you are told you couldn’t , you are not good enough. That gentlemen is what you see on the tracks and in their performances and the indelible joy etched in their individual faces, that gentlemen is not from dope, that is pure accomplishment.
You both should try it sometime.
It is sad when a black man allows himself to be a tool to those who would destroy his brothers, and sisters. Carl Lewis has further relegated himself to the dust-bin of history, another (Benedict Arnold) , another Uncle-Tom who is too self-absorbed in his own failings too consumed in his own miserable life to acknowledge and celebrate the successes of those who have genuinely earned it.
For that I truly feel sorry for Carl Lewis, a man who has accomplished terrific feats in track and field, but who has allowed self-centered narcissistic egomania to render him a mere foot-note in history.