THE EDITOR, Sir:
I have been enjoying the Olympic Games and am extremely proud of my fellow Jamaicans who have once again brought international attention to our country. Thank you, Shelly-Ann, Usain, Yohan, Veronica, Alia, Samantha and all other participants for your stellar performances at the time of writing.
But the question now arises, 'After the Games ... what?' I think corporate Jamaica, and in particular CVM and its sponsors, to which I give kudos for a good Caribbean production, should meet to discuss the way forward. Such a meeting should incorporate the minister of tourism, minister of sports and the Olympic team leaders.
We have now seen where some of our competitors have the potential to do much better, so what can be done to: improve the marketing of our tourism product; increase our participation in other disciplines such as cycling, boxing and javelin; and move participants forward to a medal position?
To this end, corporate Jamaica should now commence an 'Adopt An Olympic Competitor' programme.
The mental state of our competitors is of vital importance for a medal haul, so they may need psychological, spiritual and national counselling in order to be able to deal adequately with criticism, overcome their fears, increase their endurance levels and determination to win, deal adequately with losses and develop greater national pride.
They will also require assistance with training, financial aid, guidance regarding their finances, mentoring (preferably from some of our previously successful competitors), training in how to handle interviews, as well as the national flag and anthem, when they become winners.
Most of them, even those based overseas, cannot manage to overcome the obstacles on their own, so this assistance is crucial for their growth, development and international participation.
Tax breaks should be given to companies participating in this programme. In fact, any company that will put aside funds annually for the next four years towards the nation's participation in the next Olympics should receive tax relief.
I can only hope and pray that, with the knowledge acquired from this year's competition, corporate Jamaica and the Jamaican Government will have the vision to recognise the need for an Olympic plan and get on board with the 'Adopt An Olympic Competitor' programme so that Jamaica may, under God, boost her tourism product and improve her medal haul in 2016.