JAMAICA will have another individual representing the country at the 2012 London Olympics — this time in football. Yes, football!
But how could that be when the country failed to qualify a team to the global showpiece? Jamaica will be represented not on the field of play, but on lines with assistant referee Stacy-Ann Greyson.
Greyson, 26, who has been an international assistant referee since 2010, will be the only match official from Jamaica and the wider Caribbean who was selected to be part of the Women's Olympic refereeing panel.
But Grayson's representation is much larger than just Jamaica; she is also representing the entire Caribbean nation.
She is one of six assistant referees from the CONCACAF region which has two from USA, one each from Canada, Mexico, Honduras and Jamaica. There are also three referees from Mexico, Canada and the USA.
"I felt very happy. My eyes were filled with water knowing I am the only person representing my country and the Caribbean," Greyson told the Jamaica Observer via Skype, moments after arriving in London yesterday.
"I am an ambassador for my country. They said 51 persons will be leaving for the Olympics, but they never know I was going too. I am the 52nd person," she noted.
Greyson, who played football at Lennon High School before starting her career as an assistant referee seven years ago at age 19, will be the first Jamaican in action as the Women's Football competition kicks off on July 25. She is expected to be paired with the Canadians, one of whom she has already worked with.
Twelve teams will participate in the tournament, with the United States being defending champions. They are drawn in Group G alongside France, Colombia and North Korea.
World Cup champions Japan are in Group F with Canada, Sweden and South Africa, forming an intriguing group. Group E consists of Great Britain, New Zealand, Cameroon and Brazil.
Greyson, who played wing-back on both flanks as a versatile two-footed player like Philipp Lahm of Germany, just loves the lines and says she has no intention of switching to the middle to be a referee.
"No, I don't want to spoil it. We already have Cardella (Samuels), plus I would have to sit out a year before I could turn a referee," she said emphatically.
Greyson, who celebrated her birthday on July 7, is sorry she wont be at home for Jamaica's 50th Anniversary celebrations, but will play her part in flying the nation's flag in London.