100 metre sprint final ‘no problem’ for Usain Bolt on the eve of Jamaican independence

5 Aug

The National Stadium in Kingston holds a special place for Jamaicans. It was the stage for a crucial moment in Jamaica’s history, the lowering of the Union Jack flag on 6, August 1962 to signal true independence for the country. Jamaica’s 307 years as a British colony was finally over and a brand new independent and free nation was born. 

Tomorrow, the Stadium will once again be home to the staging of independence celebrations, this time a 50th anniversary celebrated through a Grand Gala. Efforts by Jamaican workmen similar to those of the London 2012 Olympic construction team have been non-stop with workmen constructing hard to rejuvenate the stadium and make way for food stalls and thousands who will be attending.

However, for most Jamaican’s the celebrations began earlier tonight over at the Olympic Stadium in London not too far from where their independence journey began in the symbols of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake!

Throughout the duration of the first week of London 2012, the long anticipated event has been the 100m sprint final. Of course this was due to the anxious anticipation of Olympic Stadium viewers and audiences around the world alike to see who the fastest man on earth truly was. Yohan Blake or Usain Bolt? Two Jamaican sprinters who have brought a whole new spark of life to the 100m sprint. The Jamaican’s already had the 100m gold medallist in Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce but as we saw tonight, that was just the beginning. This was the quest for a nation of 2.9 million people to be recognised as indisputable in more ways than one, during the week of their countries 50th anniversary of independence.

August, 1 2012 officially marked 174 years since full freedom for Africans in the British colonies was achieved. 311,000 enslaved Africans in Jamaica were not freed until 1, August 1838. Independence for Jamaica followed in 1962 and the 6, August is now recognised officially as Independence Day for Jamaica.  These are difficult days for a very proud populace of a large West Indian island struggling to find their position in the 21st century markets relying heavily on tourism to keep its economy afloat. At independence Jamaica was the fastest growing developing country in the world, now it has a national debt of 12 billion pounds and is turning to foreign funding to secure a better future.

Bolt fronts a campaign for Jamaica’s major tourism board and if it was not partially due to this man and his advertisements with backgrounds of white sandy beaches and clear blue seas Jamaica would not be experiencing an 8% increase in tourists in comparison to last year…things are looking up.

Now after his outstanding victory in the 100 metre final at London’s Olympic stadium who knows what the imminent future holds for Jamaica. Blake and Bolts Gold and Silver podiums send a message to the world that the nation they represent is unassailable. It’s probably a good thing Bolt came to win as a personification of Jamaica’s ‘no problem’ as the future is quite possibly ‘no problem’ with Usain Bolt in tow with ‘The Beast’ (Yohan Blake) representing a strength in the countries future. Bolt and Blake are not saviours but their prominence in the 100 metres has brought Jamaica and all that the nation has to offer to global prominence.

As Jamaica’s flag continues to fly around the patriotic nation and in London tonight the celebrations for Jamaica’s independence begin. This victory for the two sprinters symbolises an optimistic future ahead for the entire country. Not only has a legend been created but Jamaica was the one that created him.

Source(s): The Guardian, Jamaican Tourism, Reuters, BBC

Photo(s): BBC Sport, Google images

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