I can’t remember the first time I saw either of them on my television screen, Venus and Serena Williams, but I do remember watching a few of their matches back in their early days. I’m the least athletic person in the world, but I’m a deeply experienced spectator of several sports, so yes, I watched tennis matches when JBC or whatever the station was called back in the 90s used to show the grand slams. (I was a huge fan of Steffi Graf and Pete Sampras is bae to this day.) So I don’t know how I can’t recall their majors debuts, these two black girls just showing up when I’d never seen a black person in this sport before, let alone two. But I do remember seeing pictures and clips of them in action, beaded canerows flying. I remember there were braces involved at a certain point, too. I remember being shocked that black people played tennis. I was too young to know the significance of them existing in this space, but I would come to learn.Continue reading “All The Black Girl Magic At US Open 2019 Has Me Super Emo About Venus and Serena Williams And Their Legacy”
Note: This post was first published on my Medium page on August 12, 2017.
As it was in the beginning, so it was in the end.
Usain St Leo Bolt, who began his senior athletics career at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland with an injury and a last place finish as he limped across the line, also ended his glorious journey limping off the track — this time unable to finish the race, felled by a hamstring pull.
His teammates on the 4x100m relay squad, the rest of the athletes in the camp, and Jamaicans the world over are utterly devastated. This is not how we wanted the big man’s career to end, with a whimper instead of a bang. This was not it at all. But such is life, isn’t it? He is human, despite a decade of headlines likening him to machines and beings from outer space. One hundred per cent human, and his body just had about enough. Age and time catch up to us all, eventually.
I didn’t even realise that the men’s 110m hurdles finals were today, because I had determined in my heart not to watch any more of the events live, following the back-to-back days of pain we have experienced with Usain’s and Elaine’s losses at the World Championships. No, I was not ready, and I was not able, and I was not willing.
So when my friend Keresa (yes, she ina mi life like water ina everything lol) Whatsapped me and I saw ‘Omar!!!!!!’ I almost tripped over my laptop cord to get to the TV to watch the replay as we finally shook the monkey off our backs to claim our first title of these games.
What. Just. Happened?
I know I saw it with my own eyes, and the results have settled in my brain, but I’m still in a state of…confusion? Did Usain Bolt just lose an international final? Did he lose two races in a row? Did he just close out his massive international individual career with a measly bronze medal? I saw it with my own eyes, the results have settled in my brain, but I’m still asking the question: what. just. happened?
And to Justin Gatlin? Him, of all people?
As much as we collectively despise him as a nation, you have to admit that there is something poetic about Justin being the one to pick Usain’s pocket in this moment. The villian has rewritten the story. The big, bad wolf huffed and puffed and not only blew the house down, but he caught and ate one of the little pigs.
Howdy, y’all! It’s been a while and a half since I’ve visited these parts. Didn’t have much of anything I wanted to write about, at least not publicly, so I’ve kept my mouth shut. But it’s World Championships time again, so chatterbox mode, activate! Couch Potato Pundit reporting for duty, Dutchie covers in hand. My neighbours are about to hate me again, but a so life go.
Amidst the amazing accomplishments of our athletes at the recently concluded Rio Olympics, Jamaica was rocked by the news that our darling Pocket Rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, would be leaving the MVP Track Club at the end of the season. “What?!” “How?!” “WHY?!” “NOOO!!!” Those were my reactions, and I’m sure a lot of Jamaicans felt the same. This is the club that made her – and it wouldn’t be wrong to say she helped make it, too, as its first Olympic medallist; gold, no less. It was certainly a shock to the system.
The 2016 Olympic Games are over. No more world records, controversial decisions, victory dances and singing along to our National Anthem as our athletes collect their gold medals. No more DeBolt bromance. No more ham-fisted commentary and awkward interviews from the ESPN Caribbean crew of Grace Jackson, Felix Sanchez, et al. No more contextual analysis and statistics from Bruce James and the TVJ panel (no, they’re not paying me, but I will never defile my eyes by watching anything on CVM.) I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to come down from the high just yet.
It hasn’t even been 24 hours since Usain Bolt, aided by his three teammates in the 4x100m relay, pulled off the unprecedented triple-triple – three gold medals in three consecutive Olympic Games – and there’s already a gaping hole where he used to be. Sure, he’ll be present and accounted for at the World Championships in London next year, but he won’t be going for another triple, so it won’t be the same.
Lemme start this post by bigging up my ‘cousin’* Yona Knight-Wisdom, who created history as the first man to represent Jamaica in diving at the Olympics. He was the only Caribbean representative in Rio, and but for two bad rounds in the semis, would have been on his way to the finals right now. Yona, you have done us proud. I know you’re disappointed, but be sure that you have a bright future ahead and Jamaica is excited for you. I hope you stay the course and continue working towards Tokyo 2020. The experience you have gained in Rio will only help you.
It was the splash heard ’round the world.
No, I’m not talking about Yona Knight-Wisdom’s amazing performance in the 3m springboard diving competition. I’m talking about Bahamian Shaunae Miller’s desperate lunge for the finish line in the women’s 400m to deny America’s Allyson Felix the gold medal.