Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Hubert Lawrence's weekly column

Published:Thursday | February 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM

There's a whole industry wrapped around the fantasies of sports fans. In this age of computers, the internet and the video game, fans are building their own teams and rewriting sports history to their personal liking. Reportedly, it's great fun.

With a few exceptions, I'd never want the power to rewrite sports history. One of those exceptions would have been the presence of souped-up East German sprinters during Merlene Ottey's prime. The Jamaican lost gold medals to East German winners at the 1983 and 1987 World Championships.

The release of previously confidential documents in Germany a few years ago show that 1983 200-metre World champion, Marita Koch, Silke Gladisch and Heike Dreschler, one-two ahead of Ottey in the 1987 100m, were assisted by a government-organised steroid use programme.

In 1983, Ottey was fourth in the 100m, behind East Germany's Marlies Gohr and Koch and American Diane Williams, who later confessed to being under the influence of illegal performance boosters at the time.

If the pen was mightier than the hourglass, I'd rewrite that.

I'd probably touch up the sad Olympic injury tragedies for Bert Cameron in 1984 and Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn in 1992 as well.

Seeing it live

Exceptions aside, I'd leave sports history alone. I'm more interested in technology that would enable me to see more sports live. I missed Boys' Champs and Girls' Champs in 1965. That's when Olympians Rupert Hoilette, Una Morris and Neville Myton and Olympian-to-be Lennox Miller gave banner performances.

With time travel at my disposal, I'd pop in on the 1970 World Cup Finals to have another look at Pele, Gerson, Tostao and Jairzinho in 1970.

The other bit is sports-friendly technology I'd like to have is the Star Trek teleporter. With the proliferation of track meets locally, choosing one meet means missing a lot. For example, on Valentine's Day, my Montego Bay jaunt to the Western Relays meant I missed the King of the Ring throwing meet, where Federick Dacres hurled the discus 65.10 metres; and the Camperdown Classic.

If I had the technology, I would teleport from meet to meet to see the high points of all three events.

This Saturday, the Gibson-McCook Relays is the only local meet on the agenda. Even so, I still need Scotty and the Star Trek Teleporter to go back to Montego Bay on Sunday. Michael Hyatt's Winter Open is bringing international table tennis back to Jamaica for the first time I can remember since a Jamaica-England select-Barbados tri-nation team challenge in 2002.

I'd love to finish my weekend there in Montego Bay where Central American and Caribbean champion Andy Perriera of Cuba is one of the entrants chasing a juicy cash prize.

Where is Scotty when you need him?

n Hubert Lawrence has been scrutinising track and field since 1980.