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Biography - F.A. Baron
Freedom to be Greedy
Farewell & Welcome
DA Response to Grenada
And, We were Misled
Local vs Privy Council
Thank You Dame Eugenia
Big Bad John
Travels and Travails
Trade Gap - USA & DA
In Case You Missed It
".. Your Love to Town"
Mad Men not to be trusted
Politics of Lies & Deception
Wide, Deep Transparency
Petrocaribe $ Bird Island
Nations Shall War No more
My Feeling of Insecurity
China, Admiration & Envy
Capitalism: Wounded ...
© Gordon Moreau
FOR CHINA: ADMIRATION AND ENVY
August 26, 2008 - Several "bolts of lightning" struck in Beijing as USAIN BOLT put relatively plenty real estate between other competitors and himself. When it mattered, he won in record time, every time. Justifiably he celebrated in his own image and likeness.
NBC sports anchor BOB COSTAS, aided and abetted (to his shame) by Trini ATO BOLDON, felt uncomfortable, perhaps jealous about Bolt's accomplishment. They were the first I heard expressing a joint view that Bolt was disrespectful to his fellow rivals. Later, IOC President JACQUES ROGGE assumed the mantle of Chief Cheerleader and "wash his mouth" on black boy Bolt. It was as if there were some mandatory standard of celebration to which unassailable athletes are supposed to adhere.
In a bizarre way the episodes evoke for me the lyrics of Gipsy in "LITTLE BLACK BOY":
"Look in de front see who's de doctor
Look in de back see who's de lawyer
Look in de bank see who's de banker
Look at de business who's de owner
Look at de staff see who's de worker
Look at de drugs see who's de Danman
Look who eating from dem garbage can
Look in de jail see who you see too
A lot of little black boys just like you."
The calypsonian was deeply troubled by what he saw as a lost generation of young black people dropping out of school and embracing drugs, etc..The only way out of poverty, he said in the song, was to educate oneself. Today (so-called) minorities are successfully combining education and sporting prowess. Education and sports are not mutually exclusive. President Jacques Rogge must concede and must recognize that the little black boy and girl are dominating American football, basket ball, baseball, and especially international track and field.
The IAAF embarrassed Rogge by publicly siding with Bolt, and the Jamaica Government at once defended its star athlete. But nothing beats the colourful oral methods of our Trini friends and colleagues:
It is not Bolt who, having won, should go congratulate the competition. How would he do that? Should he shake hands and say, "Congratulations, I have just given you a cutass"? It is his fellow athletes who should approach him and congratulate him. Then Bolt could appropriately respond.
We must now shatter the myth that there exists some sacred standard of celebration to which triumphant athletes should uniformly adhere. Have you noticed what happens when the Americans win volleyball in any form of the game? They fall in a bundle on the ground. You would swear that, even for a while, their ecstasy manifests itself in the form of an orgy and the inevitable hurried climax. This is an observation; not criticism. I am not querying their form of celebration.
So why the big noise re Bolt's antics? I fail to see any lack of respect on Bolt's part. Let us illustrate what I consider disrespect or lack of respect.
In 1984 and 1988 the Olympic champion decathlete was a talented black Britannia phenomenon called DALEY THOMPSON. His chief rival was a big German whose name is less important. Thompson said about the German:
"If he wants a gold medal, he will have to steal mine, or take part in another event."
I do not know who or where was Rogge at the time. I heard no allegation about lack of courtesy or respect against the British athlete.
But not all was bad news for Usain Bolt. Former successful Aussie cricket captain STEVE WAUGH said it was the greatest athletic feat he had ever seen. Waugh waited for hours for an autograph from the great sprinter.
The history of black people at the Olympics has been almost as tortuous as black history itself. The famous feats of JESSIE OWENS at the eleventh Olympiad at Berlin infuriated Furher Hitler.
An event at the Nineteenth Olympiad in Mexico City 1968 was especially moving. Tired of oppression and injustice in the American system a group of athletes formed the "Olympic Project for Human Rights" (OPHR) to call for a boycott of the 1968 Olympics. But politics then was, as it now is, supposed to be banned from the Olympics; although it always depended on who is playing the politics.
In Mexico City Americans TOMMIE SMITH and JOHN CARLOS ran first and third in the two hundred meters sprint. Australian runner and sliver medallist was PETER NORMAN.
On the podium Smith and Carlos raised their clenched fists (the Black Power salute) in protest. The U.S. and IOC authorities stripped them of their medals, evicted them from the Olympic Village and banned them from Olympic activities forever. Peter Norman wore an OPHR badge in support of the black athletes. He was ostracized back home in Australia. He took to heavy drinking and died in 2006.
In the summer Olympics, 1988, Canadian BEN JOHNSON won the one hundred meters in world record time but was later disqualified for a doping offence. Johnson later accused the American sports authorities of protecting American athletes at the expense of other athletes. He has declared his innocence to this day. He still claims that ANDRE JACKSON (mystery man) put the dope Stanozolol in his food or drink.
Jamaican-born LINFORD CHRISTIE is a former world class athlete, the only British man to win Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European one hundred meters gold medals. Christie tested positive for the stimulant pseudoephedrine at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. The IOC later cleared him on grounds that the substance could have come from the permitted substance ginseng!!! With this and other bad experiences, it is not funny that a team mate described Christie as "a well- balanced athlete" with "a chip on both shoulders."
The principle of no politics in sports has no equal opportunity in application. In 1980 the United States boycotted the Olympics in Moscow. In 1984 the Soviet Union returned the favour and boycotted the Games in Los Angeles. US authorities feared the games might have been ruined, so they lobbied China, Cuba, etc....Big, big men like TOM BROKAV have put it on record that the Chinese rescued the Los Angeles Games by their presence. The wise U.S. audience gave them a rousing reception at the opening. Today everyone has forgotten that. Too many Americans tend to treat the Chinese with a curious combination of admiration and envy. My understanding is that even former U.S. Olympian DOMINIQUE DAWES suggested to her compatriots that they should cease their devious protests and allow the Chinese to enjoy their moments of glory.
I believe that American attitude is influenced by their worship of the dollar. Winning a gold medal is only a means to securing the lucrative endorsements that follow. So the Americans will do any thing for that medal. I scarcely have to remind you how TONYA HARDING and her boyfriend almost crippled her ice skating rival NANCY KERRIGAN.
No wonder when United States men and women dropped the baton at the relays in Beijing, one of the women angrily accused "somebody" of having a "voodoo doll on the United States." This contrasts with the grace of the Jamaican female athletes who also flawed the baton passing in a race the world at large expected them to win.
Presumably the voodoo spell was lifted each time the United States swept some event, or won gold, or won eight gold medals in the same Olympics as PHELPS did. If Phelps were not American, Lord save us the extent of machinations and controversy the Americans would have created over his winnings.