Missed opportunity made Chris Brown great

Chris Brown

Often, the success stories of sportsmen and women, anybody for that matter, includes big disappointments.

The story of The Bahamas' Chris Brown is no different.

One of the country's most famous athletes of all time, 'The Fireman', almost had his light extniguished when still a schoolboy.

“My biggest challenge came when I was a schoolboy trying to establish myself in track and field," said Brown in an interview with the IAAF.

At the time, Brown was scheduled to meet with a scout so he could make his mark with a US university on an athletics scholarship. However, a mix-up in scheduling meant he and his mother arrived late to the venue where a coach should have taken him and five other athletes to meet the scout.

“At that time, I was a total wreck. I was very sad, didn’t know where to turn. It was not a good feeling. Yet it was a blessing for me that driving back in the car with my mum and my mentor and coach at the time, Michael Coakley, they explained to me not to give up and that this was only the beginning. At the time, I was hearing it, but I didn’t understand it.

“My mum then made the sacrifice to send me back to school and I repeated my 12th grade again. From that point on I just wanted to make her proud every time I stepped on the track.

“In the end, it turned out to be the best decision I had made. I knew I had a lot of talent, I just needed the world to see who I was. I finished that year ranked number one in The Bahamas and this gave me the opportunity for many top US universities to see me compete.

“It worked out in my favour and I went on to compete for Southern University in New Orleans and later Norfolk State University in Virginia.

"For me, missing out on seeing that scout (for a US college) through no fault of my own made me a better person. It made me appreciate the little things in life and also taught me never to give up. It may have been a huge negative at the time, but I managed to turn it into a positive. That one bad experience changed my life forever.”

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Chris Brown: The Bahamas