The wrap-around for yesterday's Sunday Observer pretty much summed up the importance of sport to the Jamaican psyche.
'Best Ever!' roared the headline, pointing to stories which encapsulated an extremely successful ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.
Calabar High, alma mater of legendary Olympian, the late Mr Herb McKenley, won its 23rd title in the 103-year-old boys' version of the Championships.
But as far as the team aspect of the competition was concerned, it was the girls' contest which told the most thrilling story. Holmwood Technical High rebounded from a 40-point deficit to win, five points clear of the heavily favoured defending champions Edwin Allen High.
However, while the team competition set the blood pumping for those taking sides, for the neutrals it was the individual achievements that left mouths agape.
The record keepers and statisticians say an unprecedented 30 records were broken over the five days of competition, including no fewer than 18 on the final day as children ranging in age from 12/13 to 18/19 sought glory for school and self.
The analysts will already be seeking to suss out the reasons for the extraordinary surge in excellence this year at what is perhaps Jamaica's most popular sporting event.
Our powerful history and culture in track athletics is surely an explanation, success breeding more and more success, with each passing year. It's been said, and we have no reason to disagree, that the high quality of athletics coaches being produced for the school system by the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sports — a gift from the Cuban Government — is also a factor.
In terms of track events, perhaps the new running track at the National Stadium — presumably well settled, having been laid two years ago — facilitates speed. But that wouldn't explain an increase in high achievement in field events and in the jumps.
Also, we would suggest, there is personal ambition and the growing recognition among the young that sport is no longer just recreation and a means to get to college in America, but a genuine career option for those blessed with talent.
Our young people are growing up watching fellow Jamaicans of humble backgrounds, in track and field, cricket, football, et al gain fame and fortune playing sport. They are watching a rapidly evolving global environment in which sport is increasingly big business — among the fastest-growing of the leisure service sectors.
A question any talented young sporting competitor should now be reasonably expected to ask of self would be: "If Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Chris Gayle, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Rudolph Austin (et al) can make it, why not me?"
Sport is an increasingly viable career option, and our young people know it. That, we suggest, is a large part of the explanation for those extraordinary performances at Champs.
The long-awaited sports policy, which we expect to be tabled in Parliament any day now, will presumably reflect the Government's oft-stated commitment to developing sports tourism and the use of sport in enhancing so-called Brand Jamaica — in partnership with private business.
We trust there will also be active recognition of the need — even with economic constraints — for basic facilities in schools and communities to encourage those, such as were on show at the National Stadium last week, to be the best they can be.
Let us endeavour to maximise the benefits of comparative advantage in an area our people are proven champions.