Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hasely Crawford

Yuh must watch dem Trini men. Yuh say baby, as see dem do this

Hasely Crawford win of the 100 meter at The Montreal Games in 1976

The year that Hasely Crawford ran the 100 metre sprint, I was in Quebec with my parents. We were visiting my mothers' sister and her family. A few days before, my uncle had taken us to the stadium to look at the sprawling architecture and we took the usual touristy pictures that now sit in one of many albums. American journalism for the games is always thorough, or so I thought at the time. As we sat huddled to watch our local boy make good, the commentry on the match was very Eurocentric, and Hasely Crawford was nothing but a footnote.

I remember when the race started, we all got to our feet as the gun went off. If you blinked you missed the race. It was one of the most exciting moments shared with my family in front of the televsion at that time. We jumped in the air and hugged and shouted and stared at the replay that ran twice. Ever since that day, I remember what it felt like to see our runner win. When someone from a small country places, I always hark back to that moment and wonder about their fellow countrymen and women jumping for joy, unified by the effort of that one person.

For whatever it is worth, the Olympic games makes you feel a sense of altruism, if only for those two weeks. It sets up a sense of better in mankind.

Hasely Crawford is at the far right. At the Beijing games in 2008, the sprinter Richard Thompson won a silver Olympic medal in 9.89 seconds. The fastest man to win the Olympic 100 metre dash is the Jamaica Usain Bolt at a record of 9.69 seconds.

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