Amidst the amazing accomplishments of our athletes at the recently concluded Rio Olympics, Jamaica was rocked by the news that our darling Pocket Rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, would be leaving the MVP Track Club at the end of the season. “What?!” “How?!” “WHY?!” “NOOO!!!” Those were my reactions, and I’m sure a lot of Jamaicans felt the same. This is the club that made her – and it wouldn’t be wrong to say she helped make it, too, as its first Olympic medallist; gold, no less. It was certainly a shock to the system.
The 2016 Olympic Games are over. No more world records, controversial decisions, victory dances and singing along to our National Anthem as our athletes collect their gold medals. No more DeBolt bromance. No more ham-fisted commentary and awkward interviews from the ESPN Caribbean crew of Grace Jackson, Felix Sanchez, et al. No more contextual analysis and statistics from Bruce James and the TVJ panel (no, they’re not paying me, but I will never defile my eyes by watching anything on CVM.) I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to come down from the high just yet.
It hasn’t even been 24 hours since Usain Bolt, aided by his three teammates in the 4x100m relay, pulled off the unprecedented triple-triple – three gold medals in three consecutive Olympic Games – and there’s already a gaping hole where he used to be. Sure, he’ll be present and accounted for at the World Championships in London next year, but he won’t be going for another triple, so it won’t be the same.
Lemme start this post by bigging up my ‘cousin’* Yona Knight-Wisdom, who created history as the first man to represent Jamaica in diving at the Olympics. He was the only Caribbean representative in Rio, and but for two bad rounds in the semis, would have been on his way to the finals right now. Yona, you have done us proud. I know you’re disappointed, but be sure that you have a bright future ahead and Jamaica is excited for you. I hope you stay the course and continue working towards Tokyo 2020. The experience you have gained in Rio will only help you.
It was the splash heard ’round the world.
No, I’m not talking about Yona Knight-Wisdom’s amazing performance in the 3m springboard diving competition. I’m talking about Bahamian Shaunae Miller’s desperate lunge for the finish line in the women’s 400m to deny America’s Allyson Felix the gold medal.
When the good Lord was handing out athletic prowess to Jamaicans, He saw me approaching the top of the line, sighed and said, “No, baby love. I will give you strong carpal tunnels instead, because you’ll be writing writing writing.” I have no physical talents whatsoever, pretty much failing my way through PE every term of the three years I suffered through it in high school. I was also just not interested, so Miss Lyngo had absolutely nothing to work with out there.
My interest in sports is purely from an observer’s standpoint. I am a proud couch potato pundit. My only exertion comes from screaming, jumping, and dang near flipping my furniture as I cheer for my favourites. Being a fan is fun, but it’s also hella hard on my fragile nerves, which is how I know that even if I had been blessed with the talent, I could never make it as an elite, Olympic athlete.
Can you feel the shift in the air? The palpable excitement and nervous buzz? Do you feel even more patriotic Jamaican pride coursing through your body, knowing that our Emancipendence time has coincided with the start of Olympics 2016? Well, I do! I am almost beside myself with excitement and nerves as I wait to see what Team Jamaica will do at the Greatest Show on Earth in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
I love Facebook’s On This Day app, which allows you to see all the posts you made or were tagged in on each day of the year, dating back to the time you signed up. I’ve had a chuckle or an outright belly laugh at some of the things I’ve written there, and enjoyed reliving a few memories. I’ve rediscovered a few things about myself, too:
- I’m a joker.
- I love to quote random song lyrics.
- I had a tumultuous public ‘love affair’ with Asafa Powell.
- I’m almost rabid in my support of Team Jamaica at international sporting events.
- I was borderline depressed.