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Musing on Goodness - August 8

Jamaica made its first appearance at the Summer Olympics in 1948. In that first appearance, our athletes took home 1 gold and 2 silver medals. Since that first appearance, Jamaica has been present at every Summer Olympics (including our attendance as part of the British West Indies team in 1960). Except for the Olympic years of 1956 and 1964, our athletes have taken home at least one medal. Our National Anthem has been played for the world 23 times and our National Flag has been raised 84 times during medal presentations since our Independence on August 6, 1962.

Competing at the Olympics is no joke!

I saw an Instagram post a few days ago that said:

“Imagine the Olympics[,] but instead of it being world class athletes, it’s just random people who get selected. Like you get a letter informing you [that] you’ve been selected for the national gymnastics team and you just have to do it.” - @santiagomayer_

As you can imagine, the responses to that post were hilarious. I bet that an entire Hunger Games-styled Olympics would capture the fascination of the world. Can you imagine yourself being picked to do the 400M hurdles, Equestrian or Parallel Bars? Suffice it to say, it would be both hilarious and horrifying (when you tally up the injuries and disqualifications that it would produce).

But the people that compete at the Olympics are not laymen. They are world class athletes who had to qualify to participate. They put the utmost effort into perfecting their craft. Competing in these Games is physically, emotionally and mentally demanding. What we see for the few weeks of the event is just a snapshot into the life of an athlete.

And let's not get into the technical aspects of competing at the Olympics. They have computers that judge false starts (and the computers probably realise they’ve jumped the gun before they did). They have officials whose sole duty is to watch the placement of their feet during a long jump, shot put or javelin throw. The fact that most of the track and field events have been adapted from warfare tactics is one that I find hilarious. I doubt that soldiers throwing spears at their opponents were disqualified for stepping past the throwing line - but, I digress. Let’s just say that you have to be great at what you do to compete at the Olympic level.

Our Jamaican athletes, both male and female, have proven to be of the highest caliber - they are world class. They went up against the best of the best from countries that have more athletes and more resources to train them and can afford for their athletes to be professional.

Our athletes represented us exceptionally. For a nation of less than 3 million people to be so prominently featured on the international stage is an awesome blessing that we shouldn’t take for granted.

Our national motto may be, “Out of many, one people” but our unofficial motto, “We likkle but we tallawah distinctly captures our inspired performances at the Olympic Games.

Translated, 'likkle but tallawah', means that we may be a small nation but we are strong, fearless and not to be underestimated.

What else can we say but that God has blessed us whole heap (tremendously)!

So thank you God, and thank you athletes, for blessing us in this Olympics. We celebrate with you!

What good things happened to you this week?

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