Letters to the Editor

Bolt's showmanship has saved track and field

Monday, July 30, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

The Olympic ideal has harnessed the growth of track and field worldwide. If it weren't for the phenomenal Usain Bolt, this magnificent sport would have seen its funeral ceremony long ago. The ultimate test can be realised only when the sport is not considered as amateur as it has been depicted by the Olympic and World Championship organisations.

The Olympics have made the sport a very seasonal affair, and the athletes have to wait four years to see another Olympic Games come to the fore. The time span between games has significantly hampered the development of the sport. The intervention of the World Championships in 1983 has cushioned the long wait, easing the anxiety of a mistake made in the Olympics. Previously, if you failed in the Olympic Games, the long wait had just begun.

If it weren't for the star quality of Usain Bolt, we would perhaps see a sport which needed much revamping and resurrecting with the great number of drug cheats who infiltrated the sport in the recent past. Track and field survived because of the showmanship of Bolt on and off the track.

The showboating of Bolt and his sensational speed have contributed to the popularity of track and field in recent times. What needs to be done is to inject more money into the sport and make it a much more professional undertaking. This can be achieved by lessening the length of time that it takes to have major meets like other sports which operate yearly like most soccer federations operating independent of the World Cup. Bolt has created tremendous excitement in the area of track and field development to the point that he is often called the poster boy for the sport. No one can dispute his enormous contribution to the upliftment and creative advancement of the sport he so dominates.

If the sport authorities do not take the energy that it has received from the exploits of this wonder boy and act fast, the sport will stumble once more into crisis when he is gone. Something new might infiltrate the sport which could damage its image forever.

Paris Taylor

Greater Portmore, St Catherine






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