Oral Tracey: Usain Bolt should pay me (lol)

first_imgWhen Usain Bolt accused me of calling him a ‘sell-out’ who ‘sold out’ to Justin Gatlin in that infamous 200 metres final at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki I reacted with dismay, knowing that I had never, called, and would never call Bolt a sell-out. For the record, I want to here and now categorically deny calling Bolt a sell-out. Desperate attempts are still being made to find the relevant commentary aired on August 11, 2005, the day of that fateful race, to verify that what I did say was that Bolt’s decision to jog the last 70 or 80 metres of that race was an act of cowardice, and he should have stopped if he was injured instead of walking to the line. I maintain to this day that it was a reasonable criticism of Bolt’s performance on that particular occasion, an opinion that many Jamaicans somehow equate with writing off the then emerging sprinter. There is, however, a fundamental difference between writing off an athlete and being critical of a specific performance by that athlete. Absolutely no one is beyond criticism, which in and of itself when merited is not necessarily a bad thing. It is how the individual responds to criticism that determines the effect of that criticism. I remember being confronted personally by Bolt about the particular incident in question. I remember telling him that my critique of him was not meant to tear him down, but to make him a better and stronger athlete and that those harsh words seemed to have done him well. PIVOTAL ROLE In all fairness, some unique and significant credit should be given for the pivotal role I played in the success story of Bolt. The mere fact that those stinging words resonated with him through the ebbs and flows of his now mega successful career suggests that those words helped to motivate, if not inspire, the now greatest sprinter of all time to the lofty heights he has attained. Criticism tends to spark the fire of excellence, and Bolt has risen above many challenges, including some moments worthy of criticism, to be now blazing a furnace of excellence. Even his exploits at last year’s World Championships in Beijing when the odds were stacked against him because of poor form and injuries, with the debate raging as to whether he would be able to overcome the challenge of a then marauding Gatlin, Bolt must have been well aware that in my capacity as his ‘main motivator’, I was early and emphatic in my prediction that he would lose to Gatlin in that 100-metre final. It is also reasonable to assume that Bolt, and the innate champion in him, must have drawn some motivation from that swirling sentiment, which helped him to put in that extra work needed to overcome the odds and prove the critics wrong in the emphatic way he did. During the last decade spanning the 2005 World Championships, through the thick and thin and ups and downs up to the 2015 Beijing World Championships, I genuinely believe that my motivational role in the building of Bolt the athlete and Bolt the brand has been immeasurable. In my retort to Bolt’s recent accusations, I suggested publicly that I was preparing an invoice to be delivered for my services. The big man subsequently responded on Twitter that he was looking forward to receiving that invoice. The tabulation continues, and the invoice will be delivered as I look forward to the day when l will be finally and adequately compensated.last_img read more

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History-making Olympian Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn

first_imgConsidering herself an unyielding soul, history-making double Olympic silver medallist Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn had no doubts that she would win a parliamentary seat as throughout life – in athletics as well as everyday pursuits – she has never settled for anything but the best.Cuthbert-Flynn earned double Olympic silver medals in the 100m and 200m at the 1992 Barcelona Games in Spain and copped bronze four years later in Atlanta, United States, as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m women’s team.”I didn’t settle for second (1992 Olympics). It is what it is. Anything that I do, anyone who knows me knows that I am going to try to do the best that I can and not going to ever do anything half and half. Never!” she stressed.The 51-year-old on Thursday became Jamaica’s first Olympian to win a seat in Parliament.She emphatically upstaged two-time parliamentarian Paul Buchanan for the St Andrew West Rural constituency.Cuthbert-Flynn, running in her first election, polled 9,742 votes to Buchanan’s 7,517.ALWAYS CONFIDENT”I was always confident of victory because I was putting in the work. I was walking sometimes six, seven days a week, and I was walking for five to six hours a day. I walked off two pairs of sneakers. The bottoms fell off,” she told The Gleaner in an interview.Though many would consider her a celebrity and international star, Cuthbert-Flynn contends that she still joins lines in public places like banks and lives a low-key life.”Representing your country in track and field, it’s little bit different. I think it’s going to be little bit different representing the people of the country in Parliament because when you are running, you’re running for yourself in a lot of ways and the country gets the glory, but I think in this race and in this instance, it is a little bit different. It’s not just for me. It’s not really about me, It’s really about the people. That’s how I look at it,” she pointed out.Cuthbert-Flynn describes her journey in life as an Olympian and politician as an important one, one that has inspired and motivated people, but she adds that she now considers herself a public servant.”I think just seeing the things that I’ve seen on my journey, it gives me that extra push where I must give a hundred per cent and I must do for the people. I must work for the people. There is no half and half … I want to leave a legacy just like I have in track and field,” she remarked.”I have left a legacy in track and field that no one can ever take away from me. They can tell me that I got second, but I am in the history books forever and ever,” she added.last_img read more

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