Capturing Arthur Wint’s legacy for the next generation
Author Colleen Wint-Bond hopes the legacy of her father, Arthur Wint, captured in the book Arthur Loves to Run, will leave the younger generation having an appreciation for the foundation he laid for Jamaica’s track and field success.
Wint-Bond was speaking at the book’s launch on Thursday at the headquarters of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and said it was, in part, inspired by wanting her grandson to get to know more about his great-grandfather, who became Jamaica’s first Olympic champion in 1948.
Wint-Bond said it was important, not only for him, but for other youngsters to appreciate the legacy that Wint left behind as well as to recognise how far Jamaica had come in athletics.
“As I thought about my grandson, how much will we know about his great-grandfather other than finding it in some other museum? He needs to know it as a child. And that is really, I think, what I want youngsters to know that there is history behind us,” Wint-Bond told The Sunday Gleaner.
“It is important because a lot of people just don’t know. It’s just whatever is current right now is what they know, but not the foundation. We are all standing on someone’s shoulders. So the current crop of athletes are standing on someone else’s shoulders, and they stood on somebody else. And we need to understand that we didn’t just arrive here and be wonderful.”
In referencing the journey that Wint and others at the 1948 Olympics travelled, Wint-Bond said that Jamaica’s success should not be taken for granted.
“The fact that we had 13 athletes that were selected for the 1948 Olympics is very important, and young people need to recognise that a lot of the things that we accomplished haven’t come easy. Because when those guys were running the Olympics and running relays, sometimes they had to share track shoes. If one person ran the first leg, they had to make sure that the person who was running the final leg got the track shoes,” Wint-Bond said.
“The things that seem natural and normal now a lot of people had to work really hard to get there. So it is important that our children know that history and acknowledge it and appreciate it. We are great because of the various support that we have had. So it is important that young people recognise that historical legacy.”
The book is a part of a series that Wint-Bond hopes to produce, referencing the multifaceted life of Wint, which included his time as a pilot in the Royal Air Force.
Jamaica Olympic Association president, Christopher Samuda, said the book serves as a vehicle for change as well as to ensure that generations remember their sporting roots
“We often neglect that children learn from adults. And we have the responsibility as adults to telegraph important lessons to our children, and sports can be used as an instrument of social change, of reorientating our children’s lives so that they can live meaningful lives. And in turn, as generations are birthed, to impart lessons to others who succeed,” Samuda said.