Away from the glare of the media, the lights, and the adulation, many track and field athletes seem to disappear, never to be heard of in the public sphere.
They blazed the dusty, rocky, dirt tracks and the stadiums of Jamaica and the Caribbean. Where are they now? People wondered out loud, where are they now? “Whappen to so an so?” What people tend to forget, is that only a few in this world ever truly become the greatest at whatever task or event, the world has to offer.
In a world of billions of people and countries whose geography swallows Jamaica thousands of times, Jamaica has been able to leave its marks. However, what I would like to say is that track and field has given many young and poor Jamaicans more opportunities for success off the playing field than any other sporting event. We tend not to focus on the kid who is now a teacher, a professor or doctor who would never have had that opportunity otherwise. Cricket and football are great for Jamaica, but only 11 play.
What track has been able to do, is to sell a product that is always viable and always in demand on a yearly basis and it comes with opportunities that not only develop the athletic but the academic capabilities of athletes involved and yes other sports do give Jamaicans the same opportunities, but not on the level of track, a multi-dimensional sport.
If an athlete wants to excel beyond Champs, and beyond the current Jamaica local training bases, then they know that in order to do that, they will have to, for the most part, spend time developing their academic abilities too. This is something most injuries cannot take away. I applaud Jamaica, for taking the time to invest and develop this wonderful sport. It is truly a wonderful testament. I am happy to be the beneficiary of such a great Jamaican product. Jamaica, please continue to nourish and develop this wonderful event.
Thank you again, Jamaica!