For many reasons I watched the 2012 Summer Olympics with delight. It is inspiring to see athletes wearing the flag of their nation taking the field of peaceful battle. There is enjoyment to see athletes who have trained hard and given up so much win recognition for themselves and their country in the form of a gold, silver, or bronze medal; to learn the stories of those who overcame adversary to get to the Games (such as the women competitors from Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia, countries traditionally represented solely by men); to see records fall as women and men grow faster, more capable, better trained; and to see those close calls where one athlete managed to pull from within that little extra burst of speed or perfect technique.
I was especially pleased to see the triumphs of the track and field athletes of Jamaica. This small, relatively poor island nation manages to train and send superb teams of sprinters to international sporting events year and year. Congratulations to the coaches, trainers, sponsors, and the people of Jamaica for having the foresight and willingness to support this program.
Hats off to Shelly-Ann Frasier-Pryce, Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Schillonie Calvert, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Samantha Henry-Robinson, Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Hansle Parchment, Warren Weir, Dominique Blake, Christine Day, Shereefa Lloyd, Rosemarie Whyte, Shericka Williams, and Novlene Williams-Mills. Together they won 12 medals (four gold, four silver and four bronze). Cheers to the other 31 athletes of the Jamaican team who earned the right to represent their country at the Olympics.
There is a double joy to their accomplishments. Not only did Frasier-Pryce, Bolt, and company show the world what Jamaica is capable of. They did this in the very month in which Jamaica celebrates its 50th year of independence.
-- Cathy Skoula (www.bluemountainproject.org)