Letters to the Editor

Of greatness and graciousness

Thursday, August 10, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Was I disappointed over the past weekend? Most definitely so!

Would I have asked for different results? Without a doubt!

Had I ability to rewrite history, would I now do so? In all honesty, I believe I would.

What I do know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, though, is that the very best of Jamaica and our people was on show when Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson donned our national colours recently. We as a nation had expected nothing less than gold from our two major stars, and we were dumbstruck when they failed to live up to our expectations.

Despite the disappointment, however, I found myself being more proud of them in their defeat than in each of their victories in Rio last year. The graciousness with which they accepted their fate is just another aspect of their true greatness.

The man whom the world had grown to love, and whom everyone in the stadium that day had come to see, was the very first person to congratulate in a warm embrace the man who, hitherto, had been cast by all as a villain. Bolt has said publicly that Gatlin was deserving of his victory, and Gatlin has said that Bolt told him (Gatlin) that he did not deserve to be subjected to the treatment meted out to him by the spectators that day. Gatlin in an earlier gracious gesture bowed to the man whom he had just defeated.

The darling of Jamaica also showed her greatness in not seeking to make any excuses for her defeat and was magnanimous in congratulating her victors. When, in her post-race interview, she was prodded and provided with possible excuses for her performance on the night (her spikes, her Achilles tendon injury), she would have none of it and simply mentioned what we all saw before our eyes, that she stumbled when coming out out of the drive phase of her race. No mention either was made of illness, and were it not for one of her victors (Marie-Josée Ta Lou from the Ivory Coast) we may never have known that she had experienced a bout of vomiting just prior to the race.

Our two heroes have shown us that greatness, as exemplified by their exploits on the track, has only been enhanced by their graciousness in defeat.

We will forever be proud of them.

Walk good into the sunset, King Usain!

Continue to run well on the track, Queen Elaine!

 

John Royes

Kingston 6

mroyes@gmail.com

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