We are not as anti-Gay as commonly believed, because we mostly like Tyson but Justin Gatlin is an ass. And I bet Carl Lewis likes Gatlin more than Tyson. The two are arrogant and among the most unsportsmanlike, 'grudgefullest' sprinters to have come from out of the United States. Delusional Lewis asked to predict the 100 metres, scoffed at Jamaica's prospects for winning, extended the discussion to the "100m, 200m, and relays" and stated, " … America will win more medals, not Jamaica."
Gay is a gentleman, and while we were uncompromising that Bolt should repeat and 'dun the place', we wouldn't have minded if Gay played number two. Over the four years while Gatlin was in oblivion, Gay came to Jamaica, competed, spoke respectfully to the press, signed autographs, shook hands and even supported the launch of the Asafa Powell Foundation. Thus, not surprisingly, some of us genuinely cried with him as he missed the bronze.
But Gatlin we don't like, because he and Shawn Crawford came here in 2005, along with their Jamaica-born coach Trevor Graham, and were all condescending. Graham, a Jamaica 4x400m silver medal winner at the Seoul Olympics, still has traces of his rustic Jamaican 'hacksent'. A convicted cheat for his American athletes, he is a traitor of traitors. He returned to the land of his birth, like the migrant country 'bwoy' who pretended that he didn't know what a crab was until it pinched his finger and he shouted, "Queeze him yiye!"
Then, when there was a falling out between Graham and his charges, and a mysterious syringe, filled with damning evidence, was sent to the authorities, taking down Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones, among others, in the infamous BALCO drug scandal. Unfortunately for him, 'cock mouth killed cock', and he couldn't get the Americans to press the optical organ of the crustacean and he was pinched worse with a lifetime ban.
Graham ran in the same Olympics that Trelawny-born Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal after running away from Carl Lewis in one of the biggest margins of victory in modern 100 metres sprinting. Blowing away Lewis like a politician's credibility, Johnson stopped the clock in 9.79 seconds (hmmm), the same time Gatlin inched past Gay for the bronze medal on Sunday. Lewis was a pathetic 0.13 seconds behind in 9.92. Given the gold medal by default with the disqualification of Johnson, Lewis became the first man to 'defend' the 100 metres Olympic title. Ironically, Lewis himself was said to have been found with other stuff in his body than the bad blood he still harbours.
However, unlike the Jamaicans in 2009, who suspended ace sprinter Yohan Blake and others for stupidly taking an admitted supplement and imposed a life ban on 9.80 sprinter, Steve Mullings, who trained with Gay, the Americans turned cockeye and allowed Lewis to compete.
Doubtlessly, Lewis is one of the greatest sprinters of the modern era, with 20 Olympic and World Championship medals, including 17 gold. However, his personal best of 9.86, run on a better surface than the deteriorating National Stadium track that Bolt ran 9.76 in 2008 and the unforgiving G.C. Foster oval that witnessed Asafa Powell's 9.99, puts him behind Gatlin and definitely Gay.
It is a real pity that he is running for the Democratic Party in the upcoming elections, because he is a moron. This is the same Lewis who was so distraught that his own countryman, Mike Powell, beat him that he was ungracious in defeat. Then, in the mid-1990s, he suggested that America should stop giving scholarships to foreigners and training them to beat Americans.
Such a statement was clearly instructed by a superior version of sheer ignorance and shows a lack of character. Nonetheless, even at his 'juice-free' best, he knows that a windless 9.69 or 9.58, with a little cooling fan breeze, is in a zone he couldn't imagine, much less run. Lewis must be greener than the Jamaican colour that Bolt is making so much money, especially since his character and lack of appeal repelled sponsors from him. Furthermore, his legendary anchor leg of 8.85 seconds, obliterated by Asafa Powell's 8.70 and Bolt's ?. Say no more, because envy will give him a stroke.
As for Gatlin, he should thank God and his crafty lawyers for getting his life ban reduced to four years, because any other national would have been selling ice cream. The aforementioned Mullings was not given that leeway, and not simply because we think he was easily replaced. The fact is that his pretexts were not solid and a fair Jamaican administration did the right thing. Hapless Mullings was found with excessive levels of a male hormone. However, there is no hard evidence, and his desperate attempts to show that he did not have an oversupply of testosterone, even in his lawyer's possession, fell flat.
Nasty Gatlin, who years ago spat in Bolt's lane, supposedly to intimidate him, should take his medal, run with it and shut up. However, he cannot beat us at our best, whether he is on the 'kushumpeng' or not. His drugged-up 9.77 run on the fast Doha track would not make him beat Blake, Powell, Gay or Bolt. Furthermore, his attitude does little for the good relations the USA and Jamaica track fraternity share. By the way, Lewis would be horrified to know that the rehabilitated Gatlin admitted studying the Jamaicans, to improve his sprinting.
Jamaica is so gifted that we gave America Sanya Richards and our genes to Inger Miller and many others.
What is interesting is that contrary to the assertion by Lewis, who is seeking to be elected to help run the affairs of the greatest nation on earth, and in a state where many Jamerican voters live, the American college system destroyed many of our athletes. For example, 1992 World Junior champion Nikole Mitchell could have matriculated in both the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTech) but was ruined by the American system.
It is frightening that Lewis knows so little about the history of sprinting in the Olympics and World Championships, the one thing he supposedly has expertise in. Does he know that the 1984 Jamaican 4x100 metres relay team that chased him to claim the silver medal had two schoolboys, Gregory Meghoo and the Glen Mills-trained, Camperdown High individual 100-metre finalist, Raymond Stewart? Does he know that Camperdown student Donald Quarrie qualified as an Olympian in the 1970s as well?
TURNING TABLES ON AMERICA
Since Independence, we have had a finalist in nine out of 13 male Olympic 100 metres, and for females, eight. The World Championships numbers are more impressive. Remarkably, since Lewis debuted in 1984, every women's final has had at least one Jamaican. Does he know that the Jamaican-held Penn Relays high schools 4x100m record is 39.78?
In fact, the professional status of athletics and the establishment of the UTech-based MVP Track Club in 1999, during the 'dead years' when the American system failed us, put us on top. This led rivals Racers to have the confidence to train Bolt here, and the rest of it is ... sociology! A grateful Bolt, who Beenie Man can learn two lessons from, tweeted the injured Powell, the first totally locally trained man to run below 10 seconds, and said, "Respect bossy … get well soon.. You started this Jamaican take over."
True to form in these Games, we have taken three of the four individual sprint titles. Bolt has repeated with his historic double, and overshadowing the 1984 American sweep, the Glen Mills trio have given us an unprecedented club trifecta. Since Gatlin was caught cheating again, we have won 13 of the 16 Olympic or Worlds 100 and 200 metres. Up to July 2012, Jamaica held all the global 100 metres male titles, from youth to Olympic. So I imagine we have American coaches, or we have drugs in our infant formula.
Begrudge us not this. America might be the best in some things but when it comes to sprinting, 'a yasso nice'. True, our mottos are virtually the same, 'E Pluribus Unum' - 'Out of Many, One. Our 'people' make the difference.
Dr Orville Taylor is senior lecturer in sociology at the UWI and a radio talk-show host. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
CAPTION: Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson (left) looks over at United States rival Carl Lewis (right) at the finish of the men's 100-metre final at the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday, September 24, 1988. Great Britain's Linford Christie (second right) placed second ahead of another US sprinter, Calvin Smith. Olympic officials later stripped Johnson of his gold medal and world record at the Games in Seoul, after he tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. FILE