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Tek bad sinting mek laugh

Barbara
Gloudon

Friday, August 18, 2017

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IF you are a purist when it comes to Jamaican speech it might disturb you that we seem to be making joke of something which is not funny at all. What does “bad sinting” mean, and why should we find humour in it? I have an idea that what all of this is amounting to is that a week after the un-funny events which went on at the World Championship in London are not funny at all, certainly not for us.

We went to London to do what we always do, ie be winners, with one of the world's most revered, supreme athletes of this century. He has been hailed the best of all the best, in this age, not only in Jamaica, land of his birth, but from continent to continent. We and members of his family knew that he might not have been able to fly to the moon, but we knew that wouldn't stop us.

We headed off to England, ready to wave the black, green and gold. With our brother, Usain, and our team willing to give London Bridge a chance, we knew that we wouldn't be a washout. No, Sir. No Jamaica would be in anything called “Jamaica fail”.

A load of rubbish, yuh hear!

We knew that our hero would not let us down. Accident, yes, but he certainly could not and would not be involved in bad luck. So, the fans headed out to Half-Way-Tree, as usual, to cheer him on to glory; only to find that without any bad mind, everyting crash!

He never gave up fighting the tremendous difficulties with his health, with his parents at hand, and the determination of his team, our hero kept going. To see him passing up a wheelchair to take him off the field and to take to his feet was not easy. His teammates never let him go without giving him all the assistance they could. He was determined that he would do whatever it would require to do the best he could — of such stuff are heroes made.

The track had become a place for testing the mettle of the hero. For some time, there had been a sharp difference between the American Justin Gatlin and Usain. It could have ended in what some people would call a dirty way, but with a leader like Our Hero, he showed the kind of spirit, the Usain spirit of decency to change what could have been difficult. It is this kind of spirit carried by our Jamaican hero which made it possible to ease some of our disappointment.

Usain will be returning home after challenges which would have unsettled any man. Hopefully, we will be seeing the spirit of Usain not too far away from now as he takes on life after track and field. Our hero will come home to face the mixed feelings of some of our family who had expected the best of everything.

To the other members of the team who did us proud, we say “Big-up!”

Going through traffic yesterday morning, two vans of an imposing size and decoration flashed by. Each one was well adorned with images of, guess who? Our Hero. The man of the moment who has been able to maintain his dignity, the hero who has done his very best to hold his head high, to hurt but didn't cry. Come home soon, Usain, and let us see you in your real self. To us, you will always be Our Hero.

Not the best on show

To see young women, who, instead of showing before the world the quality of performance which has been the hallmark of the best of Jamaican, end up in an argument was sad. Our face has been tarnished. This could not be in any way the kind of behaviour we want any of our athletes displaying. That was a real bad sinting. May it never happen to us again.

Barbara Gloudon is a journalist, playwright and commentator. Send comments to the Observer or gloudonb@yahoo.com.

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