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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Countrywide boss changed stock plan as company suffered

first_imgCalabasas-based Countrywide, the nation’s largest mortgage lender in terms of volume, faces a lawsuit claiming it failed to warn employees about the depth of its financial troubles, resulting in heavy stock losses in their 401k retirement accounts. The company recently said it will eliminate as many as 12,000 jobs in the coming months. Its stock, meanwhile, is off more than 50 percent from its $45.03 high on Feb. 2. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CALABASAS- Countrywide Financial Corp. Chairman and CEO Angelo Mozilo cashed in $138 million in stock options over the last year, switching his trading plans as the mortgage company went into a tailspin, it was reported today. Between November 2006 and August, Mozilo changed the plans outlining how many of his shares would be sold monthly, the Los Angeles Times reported. Mozilo unloaded 4.9 million Countrywide shares, most of which he bought through exercising options. Hundreds of executives use similar trading plans, approved by federal regulators in 2000 as a way to defend against insider trading allegations. While not illegal, it is highly unusual for the plans to be changed so often in a short period, experts said. “If a guy is changing his plan around, I would think that would send up a red flag. I wouldn’t allow my clients to do it,” said Thom F. Carroll, a financial planner with the Baltimore wealth management firm Carroll, Frank & Plotkin. Mozilo adopted a new trading plan, added a second one and then revised it while the housing and mortgage industry slumped, the Times reported, citing regulatory findings. The changes allowed him to sell hundreds of thousands of additional shares before Countrywide stock plunged. Sandy Samuels, Countrywide’s chief legal officer, said Mozilo’s stock sales were all “in accordance with company policy.” “The (trading) plans were put into place in consultation with Mr. Mozilo’s financial adviser, without regard to any non-public or market information,” Samuels said in a prepared statement to the Times. last_img read more

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