Jamaica and The London 2012 Olympics: Profile on and Olympic Schedule for Alia Atkinson, Swimmer

By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe Jamaica has great representation in the London 2012 Olympic games with a talented Jamaican swimmer, Alia Atkinson. According to Wikipedia, Alia Shanee Atkinson was born December 11, 1988. She competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics , as well. She competed at the 2004 Olympics, and four years … Continue reading Jamaica and The London 2012 Olympics: Profile on and Olympic Schedule for Alia Atkinson, Swimmer

Jamaica and The London 2012 Olympics: Profile on and Olympic Schedule of Samantha Albert, Equestrian

  By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe Jamaica's representative in the London 2012 Olympics equestrian event is Samantha Albert. According to Wikipedia, this Jamaican was  born Samantha Majendie-Albert (born 31 May 1971 in Montreal, Quebec). She is a Canadian-born equestrian who represents Jamaica in international competition. She was born in Canada to a Jamaican mother and an English father, … Continue reading Jamaica and The London 2012 Olympics: Profile on and Olympic Schedule of Samantha Albert, Equestrian

London 2012 Olympics: What did you really think of the Opening Ceremony?

By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe Honestly, what are your true, unbiased opinions of the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony? Over the past 24 hours, I have been combing the social media websites and several articles; the feedback is quite in keeping with my initial reaction. That is, I … Continue reading London 2012 Olympics: What did you really think of the Opening Ceremony?

Jamaica and the London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt, Photo highlights from the 2012 Olympic Ceremony

By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe The much-anticipated London 2012 Olympic ceremony has ended. Representatives from all 205 participating countries marched and displayed the cultural heritage, dress and flag of their countries. Jamaica and Usain Bolt did not disappoint; strutting with vitality in their Cedalla Marley, official Olympic garbs. When honest analysts look back and assess the entertainment value of … Continue reading Jamaica and the London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt, Photo highlights from the 2012 Olympic Ceremony

Jamaica and the London 2012 Olympics: Jamaica 2012 Olympic Schedule, 137 Rounds of Events

By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe The entire world will be certain to tune in to all of Jamaica’s 2012 Olympic Schedule, events and rounds from July 28 - August 12, 2012. Though this small Caribbean nation is participating in four sports, namely Track & Field, Swimming, Equestrian and … Continue reading Jamaica and the London 2012 Olympics: Jamaica 2012 Olympic Schedule, 137 Rounds of Events

Jamaica’s National Record Holder (Discus) Jason Morgan – “It’s lonely, frustrating, and also motivating”

 

Jamaica’s National Record Holder (Discus) Jason Morgan – “It’s lonely, frustrating, and also motivating”

Following is a lightly edited transcript of my interview with Jason Morgan, Jamaica’s national record holder in the discus throw, which aired on May 30, 2012 on RJR 94 FM. Morgan has twice broken the national record in the past few months with his most recent throw being 67.15 metres on May 12th, and has achieved the Olympic A qualifying standard.


Photo from http://www.jasonmorganonline.com

DJM: What accounts for your improved performance so far this year?

JM: This year, I think I am more focused, I’ve lost some weight, I’ve worked on my flexibility, and also just the aim of being the Jamaican discus thrower in the finals, at the Olympic Games.

DJM: That’s what been pushing you?

JM: That’s what been pushing me.

DJM: Tell us a little bit about your training regime.

JM: I can proudly confirm and stand tall to say I coach myself. I work a fulltime job, I work from 7 – 4.15 every day Monday to Friday, and as soon as I get off work I go to practice.

When I see strangers just walking on the track, I will just stop somebody and ask them to record me doing two or three throws and when I go home I try to study that video… pick out the mistakes, pick out the positive things, and work on the next thing the next day. If I see another stranger walking I would just ask them to do the same thing and keep on repeating that ’til my technique (is) sharp.

It’s been a struggle, it’s been a lot of challenges along the way, but I have this aim, I have this focus. I’ve been breaking down some barriers and doing some positive things for myself, and for people who look up to me and also for my country.

DJM: Let me go back to you coaching yourself – tell me how come.

JM: I graduated from Louisiana Tech University , the coach who is there, I know he’s got his university athletes to coach, and I know he has to spend time with them. It’s not enough time for me, so it just means falling back on my experience, my drive and willpower, my determination to do it myself…

DJM: It sounds lonely, is it?

JM: Yes, it is lonely, it’s frustrating and it’s also motivating. The frustration part comes in where I don’t think my country, I wouldn’t say my country, but my athletic association, I don’t think they do enough to keep me encouraged.

I’m the best discus thrower over the years, I’m not bragging, I’m not boasting, but just being thankful and humble for that. I reach out for a lot of help, asking for just a little assistance, I’m not trying to be rich from Jamaica, but just a little assistance would be really good, and it would make me feel wanted and appreciated,

DJM: What would you need to help you to continue, to do better?

Modern copy of Myron's Discobolus in Universit...

Modern copy of Myron’s Discobolus in University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden, Denmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modern copy of Myron’s Discobolus in University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden, Denmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JM: What would really help me is just a little financial assistance to take care of my travelling, accommodation. I have to take care of my discus and buy my own throwing shoes. I don’t have a sponsor, I don’t have a shoe contract, everything comes out of my pocket for gear, shoes. Every year I say I’m going to use faith to keep going, I’m going to show determination to say ok, someone can help me, someone can reach out, somebody can see what I’m doing, and just be compassionate in some way, but it’s been really hard, it’s been really challenging.

I’m going to be the first Jamaican to represent my country well in the Games (in discus), I’ve been to two World Championships, the first and only Jamaican to ever do that, it’s balancing on both sides – to continue and to stop. I’m still weighing my options to see whether I’m going to continue after this year, whether I win the Olympics or not, because sometimes just a little motivation, a little help somewhere, can make a big difference,

DJM: For the next couple of weeks leading up to the Olympics, tell me what your schedule is going to be.

JM: I’m going to the New York Grand Prix on June 9th, and then there’s another meet in Houston …but I’m not sure about going to that because financially I don’t have that, to go there to compete, so after the 9th, I’ll probably just sit back and work hard and get ready for the Jamaican trials.

It would be really good if I can get some help because I’m going to be missing some days from work, and I still have kids and family to take care of, and I don’t get paid while I leave to represent my country, I also don’t get paid when I leave to go to meets, so I’m competing and worrying about all that stuff, it’s so much pressure, (and I’m) trying to take that pressure out on the discus, I guess that’s why I’m doing so well this year, ‘cause I’ve been showing a lot of aggression in my throws.

DJM: You’re channeling all that into the throws?

JM: I’m trying, probably I need to (channel) a whole lot more when I get to London.

DJM: We know the track events, especially the sprint events are the glamour events that get the most attention, does that frustrate you?

So-called “Lancelotti Discobolus”. Marble, Rom...

So-called “Lancelotti Discobolus”. Marble, Roman artwork, ca. 140 CE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So-called “Lancelotti Discobolus”. Marble, Roman artwork, ca. 140 CE. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JM: I don’t think it frustrates me anymore. Over the years, to be honest it frustrated me. I’ll go to some meet, the World Championships or whatever and sometimes I’m the only discus thrower there, everybody is a runner, jumper, whatever, I’ll look around and (think) ‘This feels really good, to say I am Jamaica’s best thrower standing right here representing really well, but my focus is just on me, and doing the best I can, while inspiring others to achieve, in spite of the challenges or struggles they go through.

DJM: A couple weeks ago I spoke with Julian Robinson, the Calabar (High School) throwing coach and (track and field commentator) Hubert Lawrence, one of the things they said is that after most people leave college and those athletic scholarships are up, most people just quit at that point. What’s been allowing you to keep going?

JM: There are challenges in every area, in everybody’s life. My thing that keeps me going is that all  great achievements require time…also just to be able to do something that nobody has ever done before.

I know everybody’s going to jump and say yes, they knew he could do it, he’s strong and everything, but there are days when I’m crying. I’m a big man, 6’3”, 288 pounds, and I’m not afraid to say I cry through frustration, I’m not afraid to say I cry through victory, but I just want to keep breaking down barriers, and let it be known that staying positive and having great faith, working hard, can achieve a whole lot.

DJM: How do you assess the competition this year?

JM: I look at that field as, they’re just human like me. They may have some support and they may have two, three, different coaches, but at the end of the day, it’s what you bring on that day. I don’t have (anything) to lose, I don’t have (any) pressure to do (anything), I’m actually doing this because I really love it, and I’m doing this because I know there are a few positive people in my corner that really want me to do well.

So those guys, they know I’m coming, they know I’m on the way. Last year they looked at me at the World Championships, I finished 17th in the world, and they took top 12 to the finals so I was really close. I think that’s why I’m motivated to just make a difference, and (to) say on that day I’m going to be on the podium, that’s the aim.

DJM: Do you think you’re on track to achieve that?

JM: For sure. I’m just waiting to get some of the distance I get in practice. It’s a good thing I (got) that 67.15(metres), broke the national record, I know 70 metres can turn some heads and shock some people and open some eyes, so I am waiting for that to happen at an official meet.

DJM: I know Maurice Smith, the decathlete, introduced you (to discus) but what kept you with it?

JM: I was a sprinter at Calabar, I was a jumper, a triple jumper, but Maurice Smith encouraged me to do this and (I’m giving a) shout out to Mr. Noel White, because a lot of days they (told) me “Come on, you can do this.”

In 1999 I was a gold medalist in the medley relay, and I went to work one summer and gained about 40 pounds and (came) back to training and couldn’t get it off. Maurice was the one who pushed me and said, “Come on, you can be a thrower,” and I’d be like “No, nobody really looks at the throwers.”

It really motivated me to see how someone can really push you to do something and then I (found) …my own motivation and just (kept) going from then.

DJM: Any regrets?

JM: No regrets. I’m not sure if I would do it all over again, but I feel good about what I’ve achieved, and also feel good about when I’ve been through and still (am) going through to be where I’m at. I’m just thankful, this is just the grace of God that’s brought me to where I’m at today. I’m feeling good and I’m feeling positive.

DJM: What would you say to the Jamaican Prime Minister who has the sports portfolio?

JM: I would say please, please, I need just a little help, a little recognition, to do some damage. I’m not going to say I’m going to be the Usain Bolt of track and field but I am going to be the Jason Dadz Morgan of the throws, so please do what you can. Anything you can do will be greatly appreciated.

You can get more information about Jason Morgan at his website,http://www.jasonmorganonline.com.

 

News and Views by Dionne Jackson Miller

Following is a lightly edited transcript of my interview with Jason Morgan, Jamaica’s national record holder in the discus throw, which aired on May 30, 2012 on RJR 94 FM. Morgan has twice broken the national record in the past few months with his most recent throw being 67.15 metres on May 12th, and has achieved the Olympic A qualifying standard.

DJM: What accounts for your improved performance so far this year?

JM: This year, I think I am more focused, I’ve lost some weight, I’ve worked on my flexibility, and also just the aim of being the Jamaican discus thrower in the finals, at the Olympic Games.

DJM: That’s what been pushing you?

JM: That’s what been pushing me.

DJM: Tell us a little bit about your training regime.

JM: I can proudly confirm and stand tall to say I coach myself. I work a fulltime job, I work…

View original post 1,558 more words

Jamaican Sprint Dominance: Sherian Brooks, Yohan Blake blaze to 9.85 in Spitzen Leichtathletik Switzerland

  By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe It was another day of business for the Jamaican sprinters Yohan Blake and Sheri-Ann Brooks at the Spitzen Leichtathletik Euro Meet in Switzerland. Both Blake and Brooks took the first place position in the 100 metres races for men and women. While Yohan Blake was … Continue reading Jamaican Sprint Dominance: Sherian Brooks, Yohan Blake blaze to 9.85 in Spitzen Leichtathletik Switzerland

THE JAMAICAN OLYMPIC TEAM OUTFITS – “UGLY – HORRIBLE”

The comments in the title are not mine, they are two of the hundreds that have been made about the Jamaican Olympic outfitsin the past few days.

I’m wading into dangerous waters here, not being a fashionista! Not even close. So let me hasten to say this is more about the reactions to the designs done by Cedella Marley (yes, Bob’s daughter) for the Jamaican Olympicteam, than the designs themselves.

I can’t remember there EVER being this kind of reaction to an Olympic outfit. In fact, I was hard pressed to remember what any Olympic outfit has ever looked like, until an Olympian posted that she liked these a lot better than the yellow blazers they always used to wear at the opening ceremonies (very hazy picture in my mind now of said yellow blazers)

There has been an outpouring of negative reaction to the photo of track star Usain Boltin a pair of yellow

Cedella Marley, junto a Usain Bolt, presentó l...

trousers, trimmed with black, coupled with a green top also trimmed with black, as he stands beside a female model in a print skirt with indecipherable yellow designs (leaves? crayfish?) on a black background, and a black top with green trimmings. Hey, don’t knock my descriptions! I told you I’m not a fashionista. Let me just show you the picture….

The comments have been overwhelmingly negative. Here’s a tiny, tiny sample.

“Future style! Think Star Trek! Come on folks, going where no country has gone before!”

“Looking too futuristic. Does not reflect Jamaica. Not saying I hate it, but I don’t like it, especially for Jamaica 50.”

“It makes Usain look like an overgrown schoolboy from Mars, accompanied by a female prison warder from Pluto.”

‘Mi nuh like it! I really don’t think it truly represents the vibrant spirit and unique persona of the Jamaican team. It really appears to be a space age police uniform”

Some people do like them, saying they are “fashion forward” and in line with the current “colour blocking craze” and  ”military style” (comments from conversations I’ve had with fans of the outfits who say that the critcs just don’t know style. Maybe they’re right.

After all, the fashion folks at the Huffington Post loved them, raving about the “fabulous new uniforms designed by Cedella Marley” and unequivocally stating that:

“…while the sleek uniforms were created with optimal performance and comfort in mind, they are super stylish to boot. We’re loving the flashy prints, flattering silhouettes and saturated Jamaican flag colors represented in every piece.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/cedella-marley-jamaica-olympic-uniforms_n_1597152.html

By the way, that story also has a slide show of the entire collection, so you may want to check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

And some Jamaicans like them as well. There are also comments like this, albeit much fewer:

“You know what, they are cute, picture them walking in with our flag at the opening ceremony, we will stand out!”

But why do we care?

Well, in case people haven’t noticed, Jamaicans have become fiercely interested in our track and field athletes in particular, since the super success of the past decade. Many more Jamaicans are now following track and field, debating Asafa’s performance as I said in my post here, following Usain’s personal life as I commented on here, and feel tremendously buoyed by our successes on the international scene.

This is to be welcomed, of course. It’s good for the sport, it’s good for the country, and it’s (usually) good for the athletes. I can remember thinking in years gone by that I would like to see athletes endorsing products instead of models. Now we see images of our athletes everywhere.

But you can’t have it both ways. That level of interst will apply to everything related to track and field. That includes uniforms the fashionistas say are cutting edge, but many Jamaicans just see as ugly. I know we are also sending athletes to the Olympics in taekwondo, the  equestrian events, and swimming, but I doubt there would have been this much interest over what our equestrian athlete was going to wear (no offence!)

And we’re an outspoken people. If we don’t like it, we’re going to say things like:

“I think these are the worst designs of all time. These nuh mek it at all.”

Would it be better if we all decided to throw our weight behind the designs, like them or not? I don’t think so. Chalk it up to my profession, but I’m big on freedom of speech and spirited debate.  If we don’t let it be known when we think things aren’t being done right, there won’t be any change next time.

I’ve heard people asking what the athletes think. I haven’t heard yet, but you know what? Even if all the athletes came out en masse and said they love the designs, this is not just about them. They are there representing Jamaica. This may be a little uncomfortable for Ms. Marley and the folks at Puma, but it’s our national team, We have a right to voice our opinion. And we certainly are doing so!

So what do you think? Do you like the designs?

News and Views by Dionne Jackson Miller

The comments in the title are  not mine, they are two of the hundreds that have been made about the Jamaican Olympic outfits in the past few days.

I’m wading into dangerous waters here, not being a fashionista! Not even close. So let me hasten to say this is more about the reactions to the designs done by Cedella Marley (yes, Bob’s daughter) for the Jamaican Olympic team, than the designs themselves.

I can’t remember there EVER being this kind of reaction to an Olympic outfit. In fact, I was hard pressed to remember what any Olympic outfit has ever looked like, until an Olympian posted that she liked these a lot better than the yellow blazers they always used to wear at the opening ceremonies (very hazy picture in my mind now of said yellow blazers)

There has been an outpouring of negative reaction to the photo of track star Usain Bolt in a…

View original post 727 more words

Jamaica Military Tattoo 2012: Taking a closer look at the Displays

By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe The  Jamaica Military Tattoo 2012 was kept for four nights, from the June 28 to July 1, 2012. It was hosted at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Polo Field inside Up Park Camp. The event was repeated each night to accommodate the large crowds who showed up to … Continue reading Jamaica Military Tattoo 2012: Taking a closer look at the Displays

Jamaica Festival Song History: The Second decade 1971 to 1980

By: Denise N. Fyffe. Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe The second decade of the Jamaica Festival Song competition kicked off with a bang and continued to spew out hit after hit. Even, today, Jamaicans are still rocking to the mellow tunes of Jamaica Festival Song winners from 1971 to 1980. 1971 - … Continue reading Jamaica Festival Song History: The Second decade 1971 to 1980