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WALL OF RESPECT by Rae Samuel

posted 16 Apr 2018, 09:11 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 16 Apr 2018, 09:32 ]
I
n 11.14 seconds of speed, a young woman from a 'hot spot' in Trinidad storms the walls of history, giving us our first global sprint title by a female. She had the attention of the announcer who spoke of no one else except in relation to her. 

Congratulations to Queen Michelle, whose name already adorns the "Wall of Respect” erected by ex-national football player Junior Phillips at Haig Street. 

Included are the sons of Carenage then and now such as Bernard Julien and Kelvin Molino. Mr. Phillips is another of those heroes of community who are not seen on television but who spend their time turning youngsters around

In a time when the faint hearted could fall into despair, moments like these remind us that we are of worth regardless of the venal and smelly tapestry woven by national political leaders and crumbled labour leaders. Such who would trundle on old men for their belongings, disadvantaged Caribbean neighbours and personal female staff.

The turbulence of her drive into the athletic history books has really scattered many a mocking pretender and stirred a punch drunk an
d battered national leader into action

Where to start? A well known ex-national athlete who suggested that some people were lane fillers and would never get a podium? The leadership of the local federation which attempted to put the final responsibility for the selection bacchanal on the Olympic Committee? 

I may have already explained that the Olympic committee can only turn down an athlete who is in rule violation; such as submitting a qualifying standard from a non-sanctioned meet or under suspension for a doping violation. The Ministry of Sport from whom getting support is like pulling teeth without Novocaine?

Ms. Ahye has proudly raised our flag in the highest diplomatic forum in the world, the corridors of sport. I remember Colin Croft telling me of meeting a Chinese who knew of Brian Lara, but try as he did, he could not remember for which club then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday played, after Croft asked him who Panday was.



Is it a co-incidence that Darryl Smith was slated to handle requests from our recently departed Archie, as in airport lounge departed, for houses for his friends? No. I think events in the Gold Coast forced the Prime Minister's hand. Had Darryl stayed he would have had to go to the welcoming party at Piarco in handcuffs. 

Thanks again Queen Michelle. The young Carifta athletes, recently hammered in the Bahamas need something to lift their spirits and renew their hopes. 

The Primary school championships are scheduled for next month and the little ones need something to dream of; to believe that our neighbours to the North are not invincible. 

And we need to know that the future of track and field does not lie with athletes on'' tired Carnival legs'' with friends in high places. Go look at the race again.

Congrats again to Michelle, her former club and her community; for facing the odds on and off the track and letting her running spikes do the talking...the mark of a champion.
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