It's not an easy road - Thompson
The sun was extremely hot and umbrellas and books became the main source of shade for the students of Manchester High School who waited for the arrival of their beloved alumnus, double Olympic gold medallist, Elaine Thompson, last Friday.
But the excitement that filled the air suppressed the feelings of exhaustion from the heat, as upon her arrival, the hands that held the books and umbrellas applauded the champion.
As she graced the stage, her presence was felt and every young athlete and aspiring high achiever felt they were on holy ground.
"I remember eight years ago I was here standing, witnessing Nesta Carter and other athletes, and to be here today, it's a wonderful feeling and it's a pleasure," Thompson told the gathering."To be a 100 metres and 200 metres double Olympic gold medallist, I stand here to represent myself, my country and you guys, and it's very fulfilling," she added.
Processing every word uttered, the students yelled, "nooooo" when Thompson said she would shorten her speech to reduce their time in the sun.
IMPORTANCE OF WORKING HARD
As she continued her presentation, she emphasised the importance of working hard to achieve a goal.
"To be an athlete, it's not an easy road, it's a long journey and you have to make a lot of sacrifices. but those sacrifices that I made, made me who I am today. Had it not been for that hard work, sacrifice and determination, I couldn't be standing here giving you advice on how to be an uplifting champion in all areas of your life; whether in schoolwork or on the track, it doesn't matter, but there must be a balance," said Thompson.
She continued: "I want you to remember four things, hard work, dedication, believing in yourself and staying focused."
These are the four pillars that Thompson has built her career on and continues to.
In acknowledgement of her athletic prowess, one Manchester high student praised her as a true champion and a tremendous athlete. "You went to the Olympics and deservedly earned both the 100 and 200 metre titles. You have paved the way for athletes and we thank you."
Thompson has not only brought hope to young athletes and students of her alma mater, but she has made her family and community members in Banana Ground proud.
It is as a result of this why she has further publicly honoured in her home town with the naming of a roadway called the Elaine Thompson Close.