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Jamaican attorney lobbies for music category in Olympics

Published:Sunday | August 14, 2016 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
Don Foote

VETERAN attorney Don Foote is requesting that the International Olympics Committee add music to its list of sport disciplines. According to Foote, with the power that Usain Bolt wields on the international scene, the time is right for Jamaica to put forward its plea to the international sporting body.

"I think its only logical, since the Olympics is lacking in that aspect. Music is a sort of sport, and music is entertaining as well as therapeutic and enjoyable. Those are all characteristics of sports generally. We don't have music as a category and I feel like we have the best opportunity now, considering we have the world's fastest male and female athletes. We can get some attention and some buzz around the possibility of having music as a part of the Olympics," Foote said.

The attorney has already taken steps to turn his dream into reality by passing on the idea to members of the Jamaican political landscape from both the ruling and opposition parties. He also made it clear that the idea is not only to benefit reggae, but all genres of music.

"I am not asking that reggae music be a category, I am speaking of music generally ... reggae is just one type of music. All participating countries could have their style of music in the entries. I don't know the details, I just want to be considered and we can all work out the details of how it can be accomplished," he said.

Foote believes the feat is not far-fetched since the Olympic committee in recent times gave the green light to a few new sports like golf and rugby.

"We need to start somewhere, the time is right and the time is now. I think we should get Bolt and the Prime Minister on it, at least to introduce it to the committee for consideration. If it is that the Olympic is the world's greatest stage, how is it that music is not a part of it?"




Foote highlighted that music exercises the human vocal folds more than any other Olympic participating sport, and is confident that, provided that the Olympic Committee gives such an opportunity, reggae music would in fact dominate.

Also a musician, Foote has recorded a song along with his personal band to promote the idea. He told The Sunday Gleaner that he regrets not taking the relevant steps in a more timely manner, so that Usain Bolt could have promoted the idea during his numerous press runs at 'RIO 2016'.

"It's not too late though, because I think Usain Bolt will be running soon. I have already spoken to the attorney general and Damion Crawford and they are impressed," he said.

Foote's song is titled Bolt Without Jamaica, and further gives details into the vision which he hopes will bring forth some encouraging fruits by the year 2020.

"I hear Bolt say this might be his last Olympics, but even if he is not there, at least he will be able to say he pushed forward this idea," he said.

Gregory Thomas of Nubian Recordings created The Rap Olympics in 1993. This was a free-style rap event that gained popularity in three American states, namely, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. However, the competition, despite bringing popularity to American rap star Eminem, is not regarded as an official Olympic competition.