Letters to the Editor

Why are our men so fast?

Monday, August 13, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

Undoubtedly, Jamaica is now the world's sprinting factory. The world now looks to us for the best in sprinting and I must agree that our athletes have not disappointed.

In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, there is a line which says, "Though this be madness yet there is method in it." I mention this to say that in Jamaica's recent sprinting success, there is some method to the madness. Jamaicans need to start knocking their heads together and figure out what makes Jamaicans so fast. I mean, think about it.

Some may say that people of African descent are excellent at sprinting. Though this may be true, if you think about it, there are athletes from other countries who are of the same ethnicity as our athletes, and yet they are not as good. Therefore, this still leads us back to Jamaica. Obviously the secret to sprinting lies in Jamaica, the land we love. We need to harness this and potentiate this power we possess.

Have you ever wondered why Jamaica is so particularly good at track? More so, have you ever tried to pinpoint the exact quality that makes Jamaican sprinters so special? Some may argue that it is not one thing that makes us unique but a combination of factors: age, physique, etc. I disagree.

I have taken it upon myself to research the birth parish of Jamaican sprinters who have earned themselves Olympic gold medals, the highest accolade of which an athlete can dream. Arthur Wint, the first gold medallist for Jamaica, was born in of Manchester; George Rhoden - Kingston; Don Quarrie - Kingston, Deon Hemmings - St Ann; Veronica Campbell Brown - Trelawny; Usain Bolt - Trelawny; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce - Kingston; Melanie Walker - Kingston. Four are from Kingston, four are from rural Jamaica. There doesn't seem to be anything significant here, but let's dig a bit deeper.

Yohan Blake is from St James, Hansle Parchment - St Thomas; Kerron Stewart - Kingston, Shericka Williams - St Elizabeth; Sherone Simpson - Manchester; and Warren Weir - Trelawny. I hope I have aroused your curiosity. I believe that most of Jamaica's top sprinters are from rural Jamaica. So we need to ask ourselves what separates Kingston from the rest of Jamaica. We need to find the formula for sprinting success; we need to find the formula for Olympic glory before someone else does.

I am not suggesting that Jamaican women begin dating men outside of Kingston. But what I am suggesting is that Jamaica start putting some thought into what makes a man fast, not only fast but the fastest known man on earth!

Evita Collins







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