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Fret not, Shelly’s on track for World Championship gold

Published:Tuesday | May 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMLaurie Foster, Contributor

Foster's Fairplay paid a self-mandated visit last week to Shelly's CAFE on the campus of Jamaica's University of Technology (UTech).

This was in continuance of an unannounced mission statement to support anything or anyone who in this column's opinion has, or can have, a positive influence on the young.

To have a daughter of Jamaican soil, sprung from humble and a somewhat sheltered situation and through talent, highly focused parental persuasion, mentorship and expert guidance, soar to the pinnacle of global achievement can be of telling and tremendous value. With it is the ability to inspire and motivate.

The country's highly celebrated sprint queen was not present at her second exercise in entrepreneurship (a beauty salon being the first), but Stacy, so pleasant in her welcome message, received permission from this columnist to sip her early afternoon cup of soup, while the two first-time patrons waited patiently.

The former MegaMart employee had earned this privilege, given her always smiling, customer-friendly face which all but atoned for any disappointment in not being personally hosted by the boss.

There was also the added privilege to meet up with the man who, seemingly was in charge, as he was instructing the other employees on strategies which could only be designed at further enhancing and improving the impact this deli-type eating place was displaying.

The aesthetic appeal was reminiscent of the superstar athlete whose concept had produced it. Foster's Fairplay has never been successful at getting Mr Jeffrey Gordon to speak publicly about his role in the earlier development of this lady, who has been referred to as Jamaica's finest female sporting ambassador.

Jeffrey, to his everlasting credit, mentioned the Shanghai Diamond League as the distraction that warranted the queen's absence.

She ran in the 100m along with countrywomen Veronica Campbell-Brown (VCB) and Schillonie Calvert, whose first elite company gold was remembered from the World Relays two weeks before.

It was Mrs Fraser-Pryce's first foray for the season into the race that brought her family, high school, community/church and her own precocious self under the glare of the world, at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

The current darling of Jamaica's sprinting finished fifth (11.25) in the event, won by Nigerian, Blessing Okagbare (10.98). Hugs and those ever-so-tender pats on the shoulder ensued. After all, this was not war, at least not yet. Whatever the avid punters choose to read into the result, it was Shelly's season-opening century dash, and the Nigerian's second.


No bile, no animosity


Just about an hour after, scarcely enough time for warm-down and drug-testing procedures, if any, the beauty salon and delicatessen proprietor, took to social media.

Her post read: "God makes a promise, faith believes it, hope anticipates it, patience quietly waits. Congrats to Blessing on the win. First 100m race for 2015, a fifth-place finish for SFP ... We keep working."

No bile, no animosity, no crass attitude to soil a pleasant aftermath of shared goodwill. Some may see it as a threat. Foster's Fairplay calls the words simply "a warning that I am not in Beijing shape, dish out your licks when you can".

The quotation spoke to a patient and potent confidence and belief in self. They serve to cut short any feeling of doubt as to what is going through the mind of a true champion, as she ponders over a perceived assault on and threat to her kingdom. Let not the hearts of her mushrooming fans be troubled.

Her Majesty is poised and ideally positioned to prolong her rule in the Bird's Nest.

Why not? Is that not where it started, in the summer of 2008?