Columns

Don’t forget where we are coming from

Patrick Robinson

Thursday, July 18, 2013    

Print this page Email A Friend!


Dear Editor,

Recent happenings have left us all upset and, perhaps, even downcast. But do not ever lose faith in our people. I do not believe that any of the athletes knowingly used a banned substance. While the lack of intent may not be sufficient to exonerate them, it is nonetheless a comforting affirmation of the fairness and integrity that is basic to every Jamaican.

Don't forget the foundation on which Jamaica's success in global athletics is built. It is not drugs. It is, rather, the fantastic athletic system that we Jamaicans have developed over the past 100 years. Nothing in that system invites or sanctions the use of banned substances. It is a system that produced Norman Manley, Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, Dennis Johnson, Donald Quarrie, Merlene Ottey, Veronica Campbell Brown, Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and so many others. That system, the hallmark of which is hard work - boys and girls train for nine months to be ready for Champs - superb coaching, prodigious natural talent and volunteerism has nothing to do with drugs. It does not need drugs. For it has its own private elixir that comes from the spirited drive and struggle for achievement and excellence; that drive and struggle are part of our heritage.

It is ironic that these unfortunate events should take place when Jamaica just had the best confirmation of the high quality of its athletic system. For Jamaica to have topped the medal table (in terms of quality of medals), with six gold and two bronze medals at the recently concluded IAAF World Youth Championships, is nothing short of incredible. We actually did better than the USA, a superpower, with a population over 100 times greater than Jamaica's and immensely wealthier. Of course, the last and most successful Champs (30 records broken) gave us a warning. No one would have the audacity to suggest that our youngsters use banned substances.

So let us continue to be proud of the athletics system that we have developed through ingenuity and diligence, acknowledge the features that make it the most successful enterprise in our country, and tell the world that drugs are irrelevant to it. Let us continue to support the system and the athletes it produces. Drugs cannot tear down the walls of that system. At the same time we, the Jamaican people, the government, and the private sector must collaborate to ensure that our athletes and their coaches have at hand the best scientific tools for their use and application to protect their good names and the reputation of the country.

Patrick Robinson

Kingston

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Do you think government is justified in spending $4m to send home Trinidadian Abu Bakr?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT