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Errors in 'Journey of Champions'

Published:Saturday | March 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM


On Friday, March 16, I visited the Manchester Parish Library to view the 'Journey of Champions: 50 Years of Jamaican Athletic Excellence' exhibition. It was the last day of the exhibition in Mandeville and I really didn't want to miss out.

I was left with conflicting emotions. It was good to be reminded of the exploits of sporting icons like Herb McKenley, Arthur Wint, Don Quarrie, Deon Hemmings McCatty, etc. It was an excellent idea in our 50th year of Independence. By the way, the exhibition starts with the 1948 London Olympics so we are really talking about more than 60 years. However, I left with a tinge of sadness as there were too many basic errors where results conflicted with newspaper text. A cursory reading picked up three.

The first one to attract my attention was that Deon Hemmings won the silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Deon Hemmings, who subsequently married my classmate, is the first woman from the English-speaking Caribbean to win an individual Olympic gold and in record time. She won the first gold for Jamaica in 20 years!

The second error that caught my eye was that Tayna Lawrence won the silver in the 400m at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Lorraine Graham won the silver (49.58) in the 400m behind Cathy Freeman of Australia (49.11).

Tayna Lawrence (11.18) and Merlene Ottey (11.19) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 100m. After the Marion Jones saga, Lawrence's bronze was upgraded to silver and Merlene Ottey awarded the bronze. Ekaterini Thanou (11.12) of Greece was allowed to keep her silver medal which was not upgraded to gold.

The last error which I saw is that George Rhoden won the gold in the 100m at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.The official results state that the 100m was won by Lindy Remigino of the US. Herb McKenley (JAM) was second and Emmanuel Bailey (GB) was third. All three athletes were credited with the same time (10.04).

George Rhoden won the 400m (45.9). Herb McKenley (45.9) was second and Ollie Matson (46.8) of the US third.

There are possibly other mistakes. I didn't go to the exhibition to find errors, but we must get our history right. Our future is dark if we don't take enough care. There is not enough rigour to our work. And it wouldn't do any harm if 'mens' had the apostrophe throughout the exhibition.


Department of English and

Modern Languages

Northern Caribbean