There was a quiet over the entire city. All cars came to a halt. It was absolutely quiet for the start. On your marks, no one could breathe. Get set, hearts stopped. An entire nation was about to explode. Then the sound of the pistol…BANG. The ladies got an even start, Shelly was not the first one out.
VCB and Jeter were off to the races. Baptiste was out of the blocks too. Shelly continued to drive, 30m, they were all in a line, VCB, Jeter, and Shelly. Jeter started to pul away, VCB was hanging on, Shelly continued to streak and streak she did. At 10m Jeter was concentrating on VCB but it was Shelly that clipped it , 10.7, taking home GOLD and defended her 100m title. Jeter was second, VCB the eternal competitor was 3rd.
The process was not easy. Shelly had suffered tremendous challenges leading up to this point. VCB looked no where near her usual standards. Concerns were high but they promised us that they will do their best and deliver and thats exactly what they did.
The city was moving meter by meter with Shelly and VCB. Half Way Tree was at a stand still. After 10.7 seconds the race had finished and the stadium was hush. Who had won no one knew. all 80,000 eyes were looking at the screen. Shelly , Jeter and VCB stood looking at the screen as well. Who had won? The lights flickered. It was Shelly . The stadium erupted, Shelly dropped to her knees and praised the Lord. Half Way Tree was a pandemonium. Car horns began, people were dancing in the streets and me, I was on the porch of my apartment shouting out the results to a world that had already known. But who cares. It was Jamaica’s moment, a moment in time that had not been done in over 20 years. a female sprinter repeating her victory at the Olympics.
Many school girls now see that is possible to live your passion for yourself and your country. Shelly and VCB has given every youngster in Jamaica the hope to believe in their dreams. Make no mistake about it . Track and filed is like tourism in Jamaica for a lot of people. Our athletes are the torch bearers of this industry and the nation is following. now its over to our leaders to lead. Give them opportunities, give them encouragement, give them hope, show them that this is another way to excel and make a living. Sports is the single most unifying element in this country and our leaders have been short sighted in seeing the benefits of this. We continue to remain behind the 8th ball.
Jamaica is celebrating 50 years. Although still a young nation we can do do much better than what we have done. We have made great mistakes, squandered our wealth of talent and resources, and take for granted the talent of our people. Unless our leaders begin to lead and have a stated vision for our people then events like these will only be a flash in the pan and all their hard work would have been wasted. And we would have celebrated another excellent milestone all in vain.