Wednesday, August 05, 2015
The look of pride on the face of Jamaican-born Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Captain Peter Whittingham as he greeted members of the Jamaican contingent to the just-concluded Special Olympics World Summer Games (SOWSG) said it all.
Captain Whittingham understands the significance of the medal-rich performance of Jamaica's disabled athletes who, through determination, hard work and a will to make their country proud, gave Jamaica a wonderful gift as we celebrate our 53rd year of Independence tomorrow, August 6.
It is in the nature of things that as a country we do not appear to be over the moon or doing cartwheels, as we did after the 2012 London Olympics Games when Mr Usain Bolt, Mrs Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and company blazed a trail to hitherto unprecedented glory.
The dazzle and sparkle of major world games, such as the Olympics, the World Championships -- an edition of which is due this month -- the Commonwealth Games, the Diamond League and the like, do not attend the Special Olympics. Neither does the treasure trove of sponsorship. Television stations don't trip over themselves to buy the broadcast rights. Motorcades for the returning athletes are few and far between.
|SOJ couple Jonathan Lowe and Esther Pair-Lowe |
share a moment during the Special Olympic Games
closing ceremony at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
on Sunday. (PHOTO: COLLIN REID COURTESY
OF DIGICEL, SCOTIABANK AND CHASE FUND)
Which is why the medal haul of 29 -- 10 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze -- is such a sweet victory. Beyond that, from the clinical reports of sportswriter Mr Sanjay Myers we saw that the entire SOWSG was impacted by Jamaican charm, flair and heroics.
In this respect, Jamaica's Mr Kirk Wint was the standout when he won hearts by competing on his hands and feet to narrowly miss bronze in his 50-metre race where his competitors ran upright. Undaunted, he returned the following day to win gold in the softball throw.
The joy expressed by Ms Lorna Bell, the executive director of Special Olympics Jamaica, is shared by all of us at Independence time. more