Monday, August 6, 2012

Damned Right, I Rooted for the Jamaicans!

Usain, Yohan give Jamaica birthday gift
Usain Bolt (left) and Yohan Blake - took the 100m in the first, second positions.

What can I say? I still have a lot of Caribbean affinity after living there (Barbados) for twenty years and marrying a Bajan -Caribbean woman. So when the opportunity to root for fellow islanders (especially member states from the former British Commonwealth) appears, I will do so. I may be a born American, and I do root for them in certain venues - but not the Olympics Track and Field events, and specifically not the 100m, and 200m events - for both women and men.

So it was really gratifying last night, especially as I'd remained up long past my normal bed time, to see one of the most spectacular and fastest fields in Olympics history, and to see Usain Bolt and Jamaican team mate Yohan Blake, come in one-two. The nearest Yankee was Tyrone Gatlin and he delivered a good (Bronze medal) effort, but not enough to catch Usain or Yohan.

Then after the race was won, it was delightful to watch Usain display his usual antics, first making the rounds of the track and high fiving fans, and even stooping to kiss the track a few times. All fun, all showmanship and minus the odious religious or pseudo-religious preaching and sanctimony that makes one gag but which has more and more crept into modern athletic events. I have no problem with modern athletes - even young Olympians- holding their deity close to their vests - but I just wish they wouldn't promote it so much because it does get tiresome. At least with Usain, you know what you're getting: fun, frolics and no god speeches or spiels or whatever.

Of course, I will also be rooting for Bolt to take the 200m event and make Olympic history again, hopefully with the fastest time ever. Meanwhile, people in Jamaica are celebrating wildly in the streets and held fetes all night long after Bolt's sensational victory. And what a terrific gift to the island nation from a son of the soil, since Jamaica celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence (from Great Britain) today.

As for the Yankees, yes I did root for them (mainly Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps - the "Baltimore Bullet") in their own events, and glad to see Michael now has 22 medals.  Just don't let mommy Debbie talk you into competing again in Barcelona! You've done your best, now is the time to leave....while still at the top.

As for Usain, I believe he's still got at least one more Olympiad to work his magic!

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