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Our Olympians, Our Ambassadors

Written by Sherry Southe

It is great to see that crime has taken a back seat to the wonderful performance that our athletic ambassadors are doing in the Olympics. The athletes are performing and the world is responding and taking notice. I beamed with pride when I heard the commentators’ in the United States talking about Jamaica vs. United States. Pity we did not see this in the 4 by 100 relays. I was anticipating the Jamaicans thrashing the United States properly. This reminds me of the story of ‘David and Goliath’, where Jamaica is toppling many of these first world countries and showing them exactly what we are made of. Our little Island can stand tall with the greatest. The best thing about these athletes is that they are so young and therefore have many years ahead of them. We are a proud nation. Successes should be celebrated. Bolt’s celebration of his win was very tasteful. Imagine the sacrifices that he made to get where he is, and one begrudges him this? Mr. Rogge really needs to personally apologize to Mr. Bolt and the Jamaican people in general. The momentum is going to continue all the way to the next Olympics in London. Jamaicans at home and abroad should not only beam with pride at the work that these athletes have done, but to show appreciation, every Jamaican should contribute funds to help our Jamaican athletic team as they look towards the next Olympics. Let us help to keep our athletes on local soil. The private sector and other international organizations are now willing to help develop new athletes and build on the talents that we currently have. 

Let us as individuals do our part to ensure that our athletes continue to train in Jamaica and not be swayed by foreign dollars. Make the commitment while the vibes is right because every penny counts. I am already looking forward to the showdown between Jamaica and the United States at the Penn Relays. What better ambassadors could we ask for? What better advertisement for Jamaica? Like Mr. Omar Azan said, manufacturers must now capitalize on this. Let us get the ackee, the yam, and so forth back on the wharf to various international destinations. One can resign oneself and sit back and mask in the success of our athletes, or one can jump on the opportunity to keep the world buzzing about Jamaica, and reach heights never before imagined in our history. Bolt’s run in the 100 and 200 meters will be talked about for years to come, and all eyes are on Jamaica right now. Not only are the eyes of the world on Jamaica, but there are many countries right now that would have liked to produce the world fastest male or female, as it is, little Jamaica got both. 

The international media will be descending on us like vultures, trying to figure out what makes our athletes so great. Like Father Bolt said, it is the ‘yam’. I am now educating many of my Caucasian friends on the different types of yams, even cooked it so that they could taste it. One can also expect to hear some of the negatives about our country in regards to crime etc. It is for us as Jamaicans to unite at this time and not give the international press much to talk about. Tourism and our airline can benefit from this promotion at a time when the economy is struggling. 

Richie Stevens’s song, come to Jamaica is well timed. At this point in time every one abroad with any Jamaican ties, are no longer Canadians, Americans, Britons and so forth. Now we fall under one umbrella, just Jamaicans. Naturalized citizens in other country? Please forget that! Everyone wants to be Jamaicans. Gone are the days when one would not like to show the blue Jamaican passports as we mill through the airports. Today, we all wish that we had blue passports, or whatever color they are now. We just want to show that we are Jamaicans. Many of us have found our Jamaican flags; and searched the closets for all the greens, blacks and gold that we can find. We now wear our colors with pride. Much love to all the athletes!

About the author

Sherry Southe