Happy 50th Jamaica!!

I had not stepped on Mother Earth as yet for our Independence from Great Britain. The photos show and all reports speak of a joyful, jubilant time on August 6, 1962.. So here we are 50 years later exuding joy, pride and jubilation in our Olympians on our 50th year of Independence. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake have given us reason to go “mental” as the Brits would say.

The rapturous joy we’re all feeling leaves one speechless! We’re sorry to know that Asafa pulled up in the same race that has blown Bolt another step into athletics stratosphere and one in which young Yohan Blake got a silver at his very first Olympics in a 100m and right behind the big man himself Bolt.

We have much to be grateful for and may God continue to bless each and everyone of us from lane 7 including keeping threatening storms whatever they may be at bay. Bless Up Jamrock!

Bolt’s face is everywhere in London from the first day I arrived in the United Kingdom. Television ads, ads on buses, bus-stops, buildings, at Westfield Mall in and around the Olympic Park – it’s been everywhere! The superlatives the British media uses for Bolt makes one soooo proud to be Jamaican.

 

London 2012 – We’re Off To A Great Start!

Scott, Williams advance in shot put, triple jump
Friday, August 03, 2012

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Dorian Scott has made it through the qualifying rounds of the men’s shot put with a best throw of 20.31 metres.
He was 11th in his group.
Kimberly Williams also advanced in the women’s triple jump going out to 14.53 metres.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Scott–Williams-advance-in-shot-put–triple-jump#ixzz22TimJObz

Leford Green through to 400m hurdles semis
Friday, August 03, 2012

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica’s Leford Green held on to second spot in his heat of the men’s 400m hurdles this morning.
American Michael Tinsley, in 49.13, ran away with first place.
Green ran 49.30

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Leford-Green-through-to-400m-hurdles-semis#ixzz22Tj0Uu9t

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Cato-fifth-in-400m-hurdles-heat

Smith joins Williams in triple jump finals
Friday, August 03, 2012

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former World Champion, Jamaica’s Trecia Smith will join her countrywoman Kimberly Williams in the finals of the triple jump.
Smith finished fourth in her group with a best jump of 14.31 metres.
The final will be held on Sunday

Celebrate Caribbean Emancipation

 

Planning For Jamaica’s 50th Independence

Can I tell you just how frustrated I’ve been seeking information on our 50th Anniversary – for events in Jamaica, NY and the UK … how hard it has been to grasp the pieces and make some sense out of this? Toronto was third on my list after London and Kingston…. NY wasn’t even a thought!

My little niece would say with the finger pointing and twisting in the air to match the twisting body move: Aunty – uhuh – boooooring! And the other would say in a very deep Jamaican accent: What a stress!

The only thing I can say here after the 50th song controversy and my criticism (whether constructive or not) is considered harsh is poor Lisa. How hard was/is it to put out a press release about the whole affair. In fact, it’s still not too late.

Was I the only one? Apparently, not and with that being said, thank God for Observer columnist, Tamara Scott-Williams (yes they do serve some purpose; columnists, that is, wink, wink) for her article addressing this issue. Apparently, the Ja 50th Secretariat and Lisa feels that twitter and facebook will disseminate all this information effectively. As Scott-Williams points out, not a lot of Jamaicans access the internet so….. what gives here?

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Put-it-in-writing–please_11995620

My further painful research finally pieced together some sort of order of what’s happening for our 50th in Kingston and the diaspora. In fact, this whole point of releasing schedules on a timely basis reminds me of back in the days Air Jazz which is held annually at the end of Jan. One would log onto their website as often as you wanted in the Oct/Nov prior to the event desiring to put forward a vacation request and book a flight based on the artiste one wanted to see and – nothing! It just wasn’t happening. By the time they had the line-up it was too late to request vacation and also get a good airfare! Yes, indeed, stress!

So, after some surfing – here goes….. I’ve tried for some kind of order….but not enough time, again – stress! In addition to what I have below, you can find a listing which includes other cities under – jamaicans.com/news

Kingston – Welcome to the official website of the Jamaica 50 Celebrations
Welcome to our new and interactive website. Our objective is to provide our visitors with chockfull of information on everything planned to celebrate Jamaica’s Golden Jubilee. We hope you will use the site as a source of reference for the events planned. Please note that our period of celebration begins on June 28 with our National Senior Athletic Championships at the National Stadium and the Jamaica Defense Force Military Tattoo at Up Park Camp. Events will continue through to the end of 2012.
Check out our Schedule of Events. http://jam50.org/

http://www.jis.gov.jm/ja50/v2/

http://www.visitjamaica.com/Jamaica50.aspx?terms=jamaica*+50*

http://jam50.org/

http://jam50.org/events/

http://jam50.org/diaspora-celebrations/

Page not found

http://jamaicadiasporaconnect.com/jamaica-50-celebration-deepening-spirit-patriotism-and-%20nationalism-jamaicans-home-and-abroad

London –

http://www.jhcuk.org/

Jamaica House’ Opens in London August 3

http://www.jis.gov.jm/news/leads/31433

Jamaica 50 UK Celebrations Event Calendar

http://www.jhcuk.org/jamaica-at-50/2012-events/

http://www.jamaicahouse2012.com/

http://festivaljamaica2012.com/

http://www.respectjamaica50.co.uk/

http://www.jamaicatradeandinvest.org/jamaicahouse/about/what-is

Toronto –

http://jamaica50.ca/

http://www.comehomejamaica.com/

http://jamaica50ottawa.com/

New York – nothing much happening except for here and there events that are apparently Ja 50 endorsed. Whatever! The few announcements came out within the last two weeks. Folks were asking me as to why I’m not doing my Caribbean Emancipation event and celebrating the 50th of both Jamaica and Trinidad…..and yes I was the first who started doing that…and the copycats are now in full swing….flattery hey?! Gala to be held on Saturday, August 19.

 

Blake’s Road To London Via Adidas GP

Blake’s Road To London Via Adidas Grand Prix
By Cathy Kleinhans
Published Jul 30, 2012

http://www.jamaicans.com/articles/primearticles/blakesroadtolondon.shtml

Image Gallery

Although I booked a ticket for London at the end of April, it was not until the Adidas Grand Prix held at Icahn Stadium, Randall’s Island, June 9, 2012, that my “official” road to London began. Watching Olympics 2012 in the US was a definite and resounding, “NO WAY!” A refrain I’ve been muttering to myself for the past four years. I hoped for months that it would be London, maybe Jamaica and possibly Canada. At the last Olympics I was ready to stage a demonstration, albeit one-woman, at Rockefeller Center in front of the NBC offices regarding the biased reporting and some of the negative sound bites regarding Usain Bolt. In as much as we Jamaicans had to skip around the internet in the wee hours of the morning of 2008 to follow our love for track and field and the exploits of our beloved athletes lead by Bolt, Powell and Veronica, we did it just to know first-hand the winners. NBC carried their “official” Olympic broadcast later in the day – Ugh!!!!

I knew that our top athletes – Bolt, Powell and Veronica were not competing at this year’s Adidas Grand Prix, an IAAF Diamond League event. Many friends were not interested because they thought without Bolt and Veronica, what truly was the point? But, I wanted to be there to see for myself how Yohan Blake would perform. I wanted to see this young man as a professional athlete in his own right. I had seen him run before as a student of St. Jago High at Penns and before at Reebok Grand Prix. But ever since he won the 100m at a time of 9.92 when Bolt false-started at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, he has grown from strength to strength as a sprinter.

Interestingly, Tyson Gay and Blake would compete in the 100m but Adidas had two separate races. In fact, both were winners of their respective races. Blake was scheduled to run in the Men’s 100m National Race which he won at 9.90. Tyson Gay ‘s time; however, was 10.0 in the Men’s 100m B and no one in that race did a sub-10. However, other athletes in Blake’s race ran sub-10. Keston Bledman from Trinidad and Tobago at 9.93 and Michael Rodgers of the US at 9.99

Kevin Armstrong wrote in Sports Illustrated in 2007 of Blake, ‘Standing barefoot on the asphalt after his race, 17-year-old Yohan Blake, a junior sprinter from St. Jago (Spanish Town, Jamaica), was simmering down last Saturday. After burning up the track with a 45.40 personal split in the anchor leg of the 4×400 meter relay team, Blake was left to critique his performance in the 113th running of the Penn Relays.

“To run in front of a crowd with so many Jamaicans in the stands was a thrill,” said Blake, who despite his team’s second-place finish was named the meet’s outstanding athlete for relay events in front of 46,363 fans at Penn’s Franklin Field. “But we know that we are capable of doing better and that the expectations are for us to deliver faster times.”

“We’re not satisfied, but to run against competition that draws the best out of us is something that we desire,” said Blake, whose earlier performance in the 4×100 meter relay helped St. Jago to the Penn Relays first-ever sub-40 of 39.96, breaking the previous mark of 40.13 set last year by Jamaican rival Camperdown (Kingston).’
Prior to the 2009 World Championships, Blake tested positive for a banned substance and was penalized with a three-month ban from competition. But last year, 2011, alongside Bolt and other Jamaican teammates in Daegu, South Korea, Blake won the 4x100m final and broke the world record (set by the Jamaican team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008) with a time of 37.04 seconds. At 21 years, 245 days, Blake also became the youngest 100 metre world champion ever!
So, not to take anything away from Bolt but Blake was now a new Jamaican sprint wonder. This year, Jamaicans in the track and field know came out to Adidas Grand Prix 2012 just weeks before Jamaica’s Olympic Trials to see who people called, “the beast”! I do agree with another writer that he needs to change his nickname. Such a great sprinter and gentleman who is apparently a kind person just cannot be called a beast or is it a metaphor of Beauty and the Beast? The beast is after all a handsome prince waiting to be kissed under that gruff exterior or so goes the fairy tale. Is Blake “the beast” a fairy tale in the making? Is there a London 2012 100m proverbial kiss for the beast with a happy ending to his quest for winning the Olympic100m after training with the world’s best, Bolt? The 100m race for track and field aficionados has always been important but for them, fans and almost any Jamaican the event now, is even more so. This was all shown in the pre-Olympic BBC documentary, Can Anyone Beat Bolt?
The documentary follows 6 athletes who want to take home the Olympic gold; 3 Jamaicans- Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Asafa Powell-, 2 Americans- Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin- and Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre. Footage is taken from this year’s Adidas Grand Prix where they interviewed Tyson Gay and showed both his and Blake’s 100m wins.
Blake began his 2012 season very quickly, registering the first sub-10-second time of the season (9.90) at April’s Utech Classic in Jamaica. He did the same time at Adidas GP 2012 of 9.90. He went on to register a 9.84 seconds run at the Cayman Invitational prior to the Jamaican Olympic trials, where he beat Usain Bolt over 100 meters with a time of 9.75 seconds, and over 200 meters with a time of 19.80 (Bolt was timed at 19.83). He beat both Bolt and Asafa Powell. He is the fourth fastest sprinter of all-time after Bolt, American Tyson Gay and Powell. His 19.26 in the 200m is the second fastest ever after Bolt.
At this year’s Adidas 2012, for the Women’s 100m in a field that included Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix it was our “pocket rocket”, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce that came out on top with 10.92. Jeter came in third with 11.05 and Felix fourth at 11.07. There were other moments to enjoy at this meet for which I was instrumental in putting on the map to the NY Jamaican and Caribbean communities in 2006 when it was known as the Reebok Grand Prix. In fact, when Bolt broke his first world record of 9.72 on a rainy evening May 31, 2008, it was officially known then as Reebok GP.
It was good to see another Jamaican-born sprinter who runs for the US, Sanya Richards-Ross in her favourite 400m. She too will be seeking an Olympic medal. The wonder of seeing the double-amputee runner, Oscar Pistorius of South Africa run was truly a sight. Pistorius was chasing a dream of qualifying in the individual event for the Olympics. He will be the first amputee to compete on the track at the Olympics when he runs in the 400 meters and on South Africa’s 4×400 relay team.
After seeing Blake and Fraser-Pryce in great shape at Adidas 2012, I truly feel good about the Olympics 100m final – men’s and women’s. I haven’t seen Veronica since Madison Square in January when she ran indoors at the US Open Track & Field. She looked good then and I don’t doubt that she’s fine and in good shape and health. I call her the lady of Jamaican female athletes. For a very long time she stood out as our shining beacon of female sprinting. I wish all our athletes love, prayers, health and the strength to be the best of your God-given talent! For the Men’s 100m it would be good to see gold, silver and bronze. However, unlike many I don’t particularly care about the order of which one will come first, second or third…. so long as Blake, Bolt and Powell (note I have them in alphabetical order, smile) takes the stand at the London Olympics 2012. With that being said, ha, I would love to see a Jamaican break the world record. Now, that would be the green and yellow icing on the 30th Olympiad of the modern era as apparently London and the BBC have now joined us in a love affair with Bolt and our famous green and yellow.

 

AGP ’12 -An Inspiration – Oscar Pistarius

A South African paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius ran in the 400m with Jermaine Gonzales.

Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius (born 22 November 1986) is a South African sprint runner. Known as the “Blade Runner” and “the fastest man on no legs”, Pistorius, who has a double amputation, is the world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 metres (sport class T44) events and runs with the aid of Cheetah Flex-Foot carbon fibre transtibial artificial limbs by Ossur