Lance Neita Sunday, September 06, 2015
The committee to be appointed to recommend appropriate honours for our track and field heroes will need to move as swiftly as Usain or Shelly-Ann when they are on the track. If we wait too long the euphoria and excitement will evaporate and we will lose the moment. So let's keep the adrenaline flowing, make a creative plan, and strike up the band.
|A Usain Bolt Stadium would bring home a gold medal|
Ideas and suggestions are already rolling in. My bet is that we will be heading to the National Arena or the Stadium for a grand reception. The people want to see their stars and to touch them. If they are looking for locations to do something, Half-Way-Tree square should not be ruled out. That's where the glad bags burst, you lose your inhibitions, pot and pan clash, and emotions rise to extraordinary levels. The Half-Way-Tree gathering has become a phenomenon, an institution, and should figure somehow in the celebrations. And once you get out of town, then home parishes, districts, schools, communities will want their piece of the action. Don't attempt to confine the homecoming to Kingston.
The committee will have its hands full trying to please and satisfy. The individual award and recognition will be a delicate matter. Should this be a team recognition to make things simpler, or should we have one level for gold, another for silver, one for bronze, and so on?
The athletes represented Jamaica brilliantly as a team. Every interview, every snapshot, every reaction, every nuance, every smile, was a one-up for Jamaica. We were never let down. Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is right when he says Jamaica could not have paid for the brand value gained from the performances.
"Having our athletes standing on the platform with the Jamaican Flag flying and the National Anthem playing was priceless. Every time the Jamaica name was called on the world stage someone who never knew about this small Caribbean island became aware. That is brand value that we cannot pay for."
Something similar happened years ago when George Headley completed a century in each innings of the Test match at Lords in 1939 -- an unprecedented feat that remained in the record books for years. The members in the Long Room were taken aback. This had never happened before. "My goodness, where is that chap from? Jamaica? Now, let's see if we can find it on the map."