Last week one of the cable channels was showing the 2016 documentary 'I am Bolt', which captured what was happening behind the scenes with Usain Bolt, in his own words, from 2008 to his final appearance at the Olympics in 2016.

Over the course of those three Olympic Games, Bolt won nine gold medals (the 2008 relay medal was stripped) in what was one of the most dominant eras by any athlete in track and field. I had a full plate of work before me but I was not able to pull myself away even though I had already watched it, maybe four or five times already.

It still gave me goosebumps watching Bolt’s career finally take off the way many of us expected, setting world records and winning gold medals and exciting track and field fans like no one had ever seen before.

It is a critical piece of the sport’s history and Jamaica's history as well.

Before the Bolt era, there were not that many books written about Jamaica’s track and field athletes and there have been many of the latter.

For a country its size, Jamaica has produced so many superstar athletes, it belies imagination. Herb McKenley, Arthur Wint, Lennox Miller, Marilyn Neufville, Donald Quarrie, Jackie Pusey, Merlene Ottey, Raymond Stewart, James Beckford, Sandie Richards, Juliet Cuthbert, Winthrop Graham, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Beverly McDonald, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Asafa Powell; the list goes on and on.

However, by comparison, so little has been documented of their respective careers.

The time has come for us to commission the production of documentaries that will provide archival material on what has been the greatest era of the country’s prowess.

From the current era alone VCB, Shelly, Melaine Walker, Omar McLeod, Sherone Simpson, and more have set records that have become necessary to document.

Not all will be a 107-minute long piece like 'I am Bolt'. The respective stories will determine their own lengths, but it is important that we have these athletes tell us their stories.

These athletes are living history and we should not wait until they are gone to have someone else tell their stories. They should be telling us their stories. VCB and Fraser-Pryce, for example, have some compelling stories to tell.

What do we do with these documentaries?

Well, the government is building a sports museum. These documentaries would be playing on big screens as be part of any tour by those interested in Jamaica’s sporting history. Copies should also be at the National Library to be used in a similar fashion.

The Ministry of Sports should have its own YouTube channel where each of these documentaries is always available to the public for general knowledge, research and similar pursuits.

This undertaking should not be limited to track and field, however.

Alia Atkinson, Chris Binnie, Ali McNabb, Lindy Delaphena, our boxers Mike McCallum, Richard Clarke, Trevor Berbick, Simon Brown, Nicholas Walters are others worthy of being documented.

As time passes, we should not be searching all over the place, oftentimes unsuccessfully, to find data on Jamaica’s incredible sporting history. Our ancestors used to pass knowledge along verbally. We have built statues to honour some of our sporting greats, the time is nigh for us to have more than just images cast in stone.

 

 

Most people would jump at the chance of getting a second crack at getting something they initially get wrong, right. Veronica Campbell-Brown, one of the most successful female sprinters in history, is no different.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, one of the all-time greats of female sprinting, has revealed that she forged her talents in the intense furnace of competition that is the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships, arguably the biggest high school track meet on the planet.

Veronica Campbell Brown has been to five Olympic Games after making her debut at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.

In the 20 years since then she has won three gold medals including consecutive 200m titles at the 2004 Games in Athens and then in Beijing in 2008 as well as a sprint relay gold won in Athens.

Three silver medals and two bronze medals put her Olympic medal count at eight, making her one of the world’s most successful female sprinters in Olympic history.

However, for the 37-year-old sprint queen, qualifying for a sixth Olympics would be a nice way to bow out of what has been an illustrious career.

"It would be like icing on the cake if I'm able to run in my sixth Olympic Games because I feel like I don't have anything else to prove," said Campbell-Brown, who has also won 11 medals at the World Championships.

"But at this stage in my life and my career, running in the Olympic Games one more time would be extra special."

However, there are many obstacles in her way including Jamaica’s premier female sprinters Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson as well as a crop of promising youngsters like Briana Williams, Natalliah Whyte, Jonielle Smith, and Natasha Morrison.

Fraser-Pryce, Williams, Smith and Whyte combined to win the 4x100m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

The biggest obstacle to VCB’s Olympic hopes is the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic that could see the 2020 Olympics being postponed or cancelled.

Veronica Campbell-Brown only competed for the University of Arkansas for one indoor and outdoor season, but her presence there legitimized their sprint programme, said Razorbacks Coach Lance Harter.

Jamaican Olympian Veronica Campbell Brown said the city of Arkansas feels like home after being inducted into 2020 class at the 62nd Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame at the Statehouse Convention Centre on Friday night.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, one of the all-time greats of track and field, was honoured by her home country of Jamaica on Sunday when they mounted a statue of her likeness at Independence Park in Kingston.

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