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IT GOOD FOR WHO? By Rae Samuel

posted 10 Aug 2016, 07:36 by Gerry Kangalee
An ill conceived campaign ends in loss for a young history making gymnast at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Trinidad and Tobago's Marissa Dick may have legally won a place as the first female gymnast to represent T&T at the Games but alas in the eyes of so many she did it illegitimately.

The result as she foundered on the bar is/was seen as poetic justice by many. In our parlance "God doh sleep'' and the reality is it is a result many fervently wished and prayed for. Eventually she will be remembered for all the wrong reasons

Her tears and disappointment will solicit very little sympathy outside her immediate circles. How does one commiserate with an athlete perceived as a cheat, even a racist cheat by some? The poor young lady is out there alone sans the fractured federation and her team of supporters who themselves must be running for shelter if not blaming everyone from her coach to the judges. Rio must have been a cold place for the athlete.

Will things like this happen again in local sport? Of course given the leadership in local sports! In track and field there is the big club/small club context where the leadership of the big clubs sit on the executive. For some of the track and field coaches out there this is their 2nd or 3rd Olympic outing. God help the federation if they contract Zika before the 2020 games!

The debacle/s in cricket, football, basketball administrations are well documented so there is no need to expand. Swimming, cycling and sailing seem to be on the way up. Even when there are hiccups they are handled differently or not played out in the media. Why? By virtue of their class background and training and education these administrators are better prepared to manage and organise!

The sports that put us on the map in years gone by are now desultory. We were world netball champions. We beat Argentina at hockey in the 1966 Pan am Games. In track and field we set world records and won more than 2or 3 medals at Games. Before Buxo we had world champions in boxing…real one with real belts won in real fights.

But I am certain of a turnaround. What we are seeing is the passing of an old order, the necessary death of mediocrity and ignorance. Circumstance will compel persons in the sports to ask the hard questions as we flounder and smaller nations with fewer resources surpass us and we realise the stimulus for change must come from within and from below, especially those who still see sport as an avenue for upward social and economic mobility.

So I re-iterate that what happened to/with the young lady at the Olympics is a triumph of ignorance and stupidity, the latter which Franz Fanon described as an extremely dire condition. Saying 'it good fuh she' might assuage feelings but it is not a way forward.
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