Thu, 08/11/2016 - 12:00am
Speed, strength, endurance and skill. The display of the best of the best. Every four years, the Olympics showcases what the human body and mind can do when honed towards a particular task.
Even with all of the challenges encountered including the political upheaval in Brazil, the issues the Rio Olympic Committee experienced in getting everything ready in time for this showing, the concerns expressed by the athletes of the condition of their accommodation, the Russian doping scandal and the worry over the state of the water, even yesterday’s diving pool water turning green, there is an excitement about the Olympics whenever it comes around.
Myself and many others around this island, region and the rest of the world love when this time comes around as within a few events, the common man becomes an expert in not only the much anticipated track and field and swimming events, but also in the sports that do not often make it to the big screen like archery, sailing, fencing, water polo, canoeing, handball, martial arts, judo and even trampolining, which are all put on display. How many of us now watch synchronised diving with a close eye to see whether the two divers’ backs were in perfect alignment as they hit the water, or watch with bated breath to see whether weightlifters snatch correctly? What about us who watch in awe as horses go through the paces at the equestrian event or how high gymnasts get off the vault? The Olympics provides a veritable smorgasbord for professional and amateur athletes and those at heart.
With so much going on throughout the day, many were wondering just exactly how the choice would be made as to which events would be broadcast here at home. Never would I have guessed that the choice of what to carry was not that hard at all.
It is perplexing that the country’s lone television station would take the decision to show Test Cricket during this time. For months, persons were assured there would be coverage of the Olympics, but yet throughout the day, only cricket can be seen while the Olympics is relegated to the late evening and night schedule.
Now for those die-hard West Indies fans, I understand that this may be as critical a match as any other, but I am kindly requesting that you give some leeway to those like me, who are only blessed with this opportunity once every four years. After all, after the next two weeks, the world of sports returns to its regularly scheduled programme. Think of the poor sports reporters who are being asked to cram a full day of Olympic events into a two-minute time slot, while cricket is easily relegated to 30 seconds.
We have already seen or heard of some records being smashed and new names rising to star level. We have clapped as the most decorated Olympic Athlete of All Time Michael Phelps defy the naysayers and added three more golds to his awe-inspiring tally so far, cheered when Sukanya set a new record in women’s weightlifting, felt sad when Serena Williams lost her match and cringed when Samir Ait Said broke his leg on the vault, and now look forward to when our Caribbean athletes take to the stage for track and field. We must be granted the opportunity to see the other moments that will define Rio 2016.