Man Who Revolutionised Sprint Training Cultural Studies Essay

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LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Bud Winter, the American sprint coach who mentored a generation of world record-holders including Tommie Smith and John Carlos, held a series of seminars in Jamaica in 1966.

Among the attendees listening to the man who revolutionised sprint training were Glen Mills and Steven Francis. Forty-six years later Mills coaches Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake while Francis guides Asafa Powell and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Between them that quartet collected three individual gold medals and three silvers at the London Olympics concluding on Sunday where a Caribbean island of 2.7 million people reaffirmed it is the cradle of world sprinting. Bolt and Blake also took gold in the men's 4x100 relay and Fraser-Pryce was in the Jamaican quartet who claimed relay silver.

Two years after Winter's visit Smith and Carlos shocked the world and infuriated the establishment when they bowed their heads and held black-gloved fists aloft during the victory ceremony for the Mexico Olympics 200 metres final.

Their silent protest on behalf of their oppressed fellow-blacks in the United States still resonates. A similar determination and pride swept through the Caribbean with the music of Bob Marley in Jamaica and the success of the West Indies cricket side.

"There is a tremendous sense of pride, if two Jamaicans run in to each other in the street they say 'Respect'," said Jason Hall, deputy director of tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board who helped run the hugely successful Jamaica House at the London Olympics. "Respect is very important. National pride is an extension of that."

Winter's visit to Jamaica came at the invitation of Dennis Johnson, who equalled the world 100 yards records four times in the space of six weeks in 1961. Johnson was coached at San Jose State University by Winter.

On his return to Jamaica, Johnson resolved to help mentor coaches who would help produce world-class athletes. They in turn would not then feel they needed to accept university scholarships in the United States in order to progress.


As a promising young athlete Hall, now 41, clocked 10.2 over the 100 metres and studied in the United States.

"My personal experience was that it allowed you to get an education which is important. It was very important to have this education as a foundation. But the track system there was very brutal, in fact many of our top athletes of the time burned out," he said.

Jamaican sprinting took its place on the world stage at the 1948 London Olympics when Arthur Wint won the 400 metres. He breasted the tape a fraction of a second ahead of team mate Herb McKenley, who had uniquely qualified for the finals of the 100, 200 and 400 metres.

McKenley, a distant relative of Hall's, coached the Jamaican team from 1954 to 1973 and then served as president of the national athletics association.

During his time another generation of sprinters emerged including 1976 Olympic 200 metre gold medallist Don Quarrie and Merlene Ottey, who competed at the 1980 Moscow Games and was still running for her adopted country of Slovenia at the age of 52 this year.

Track and field in Jamaica is all about speed.

On one side of the capital Kingston is Herb McKenley Crescent, on the other is Arthur Wint Drive. In the centre, lies Tracks and Records bar, part-owned by Bolt who drops by regularly.


"They start at a national level from grades there's a huge island-wide all schools championship," Hall said.

"From an early age they're exposed to the pressures of 100 metres. They know about all the hype. When you go to these meets they are more hotly contested that an Olympics because all of these schools have their school pride at stake and they're fiercely competitive.

"The reason for success is really a combination of factors, including some genetic attributes; it's what typifies fast twitch muscle fibre traced back to west Africa.

"Muscle development and growth is very dependent on diet. We have yam, there are 50 different types of yam, the most popular is yellow yam, starch which body processes much slower and you have a sustained release of energy. We eat a lot of live food, a lot of greens, a lot of goat."

Then there is the sheer hard work the sprinters do in often the most primitive conditions.

"These guys, I watch them train, they basically train until they vomit. I look at other countries with such remarkable facilities and I would say, wow, we could really use some of that. But do we really need it?," Hall said.

Mills, 62, who has coached since he was a teenager, took over as Bolt's coach after the teenage sprinter limped out of the Athens 2004 Olympics when he failed to advance from the 200 metres heats.

In the next two Games, Bolt twice won gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x100 metres relay and set two individual world records.

"I have made track and field a major part of my existence and I work at it for long hours," Mills said.

"Maybe I have a talent to coach in a manner that brings results. My knowledge is not exclusive as I believe that other people have similar information. We all get it from the same research, the same scientific data, but maybe I can use it better than most.

"I'm constantly seeking knowledge, whether it's in books, on the Internet or even talking to other practitioners.

"I've learned a lot from the doctors I associate with as it relates to the function of the human body and the different aspects and effects of training on the human body and so on."

Hall said Johnson and Mills had been critical to Jamaica's success.

"Glen Mills has so much experience and when you see him sit down and break down 100 metres you realise there is so much more to this race than meets the eye. You have 10 seconds to justify your existence and you spend 10,000 hours getting there.

"It's an unfair exchange. I really take my hat off to Glen Mills." (Additional reporting by Kayron Raynor and Steve Keating, editing by Ed Osmond)



Great Speed, Big Heart

By Hubert Lawrence

Demographically, Jamaica is a dot on the world map. Its population of just under 2.9 million ranks the island nation 133rd in size. By contrast, Jamaica is a giant in athletics. Remarkably, the black-green-and-gold dot has garnered 56 Olympic medals in track and field, with 13 gold medals leading the way. Blessed with speed and an indomitable spirit, Jamaica punches above its weight in a sport contested by over 200 nations.

Inaugurated in 1983, the World Championships have served to vault Jamaica into further prominence. In 12 stagings of this event, Jamaicans have won 80 medals, with 14 of them golden. These results compare favourably with those of many continental powers whose resource base is far superior.

Analysts the world over know the names of our champions, names like Arthur Wint, George Rhoden, Donald Quarrie, Deon Hemmings, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Melaine Walker, Merlene Ottey, Bert Cameron, Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Frazer-Pryce and Brigitte Foster-Hylton. Still they wonder how this little nation has consistently produced stars on the track.

The answer isn't as simple as 1-2-2, the medal finish for Jamaica in the 100 metres at the 2008 Olympics. Some of the success is owed to genetics. The large body of Jamaicans are the descendants of Africans from a region blessed with fast twitch muscle fibres. Research has shown that these Jamaicans dine often on foods, including yams, which fuel these muscles to create speed.

History shows that many Jamaicans fled to the hills during slavery and emerged stronger for their sojourn in the mountains with their legs primed for sprinting.

Built in those genetic and historical foundations, Jamaica has a system for finding and nurturing good prospects. With physical education entrenched in the school system, youngsters are funnelled through school and college competitions at every stage. One of them, the world famous Boys and Girls Championships, has been described as a 'Mini-Olympics'.

A final sweetener has been added to the mix in the last 15 years. For decades, Jamaican athletes followed the footsteps of McKenley to the US college for tertiary education and athletic development. More recently, many blue-chip prospects have stayed home at government institutions like the University of Technology and the GC Foster College for Sports.

Now the country is enjoying a golden era. At the 2009 World Championships, Jamaica won 13 medals with 7 gold, its best results ever at this level. That followed an 11 medal performance at the 2008 Olympics.

This may well be on account of the power of positive role models. The early successes inspired others and those who stay home are proof positive to others aspirants that success can be obtained.

Still, the analysts seek answers. Perhaps we will all learn more as Jamaica approaches the 2012 Olympics.

Jamaican Independence 2012 celebrates fifty years of strength, determination and achievement in our nation.

This special occasion will be marked with themed events and activities and many Jamaicans who live abroad have returned home to participate in the festivities and spend time with family and friends. A New Year's Eve ball and fireworks on the waterfront kicked off the celebrations in January.

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Kingston waterfront- This image and all others in this article are used courtesy of Wikipedia

Most people are aware of Jamaica's success in the sporting arena and in music. Jamaicans have complete support for our talented artists and musicians and names such as Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Merlene Ottey, Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are known in households around the world.

Our success as a nation in this area has been steady. Jamaicans Donald Quarrie, Herb McKinley and Arthur Wint started the trend of sporting success in 1948, when Jamaica mined gold and silver at our first Olympic games. We now claim both the fastest man and the fastest woman in the world.

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Reggae music and reggae musicians such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Marcia Griffiths, Burning Spear and Jimmy Cliff have touched the hearts of people in many nations. Jamaican ska music began in the country in the late 1950s and has been embraced worldwide as well.

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The Skatalites and Toots and the Maytals are some of the most well known ska bands. There are now ska bands such as Fishbone and Five Iron Frenzy in the US, Backy Skank in Australia, The Kingpins in Canada, The Fandangos in Denmark and many others which are involved in the music.

Jamaica was the first Caribbean nation to acquire ISO 9001 accreditation. We were the first Caribbean nation to send a bobsleigh team to the Olympics and at Lillehammer in 1994, we finished in 14th place, ahead of teams from nations such as the United States. We were the first nation in the western world to construct a railway.

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Jamaica was the first nation to impose economic sanctions against South Africa when it was under apartheid.

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After fifty years of independence, we are one of the longest standing democracies in the world.

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We are consistently listed as one of the world's happiest countries because of our high life expectancy, health, social support and freedom to choose. For example, Jamaica is the first nation in the world to implement a standardized patient administration system for all our hospitals and clinics. As a nation we have a lot more to do in terms of growth and making our systems more transparent. While we celebrate our achievements we must make better use of the gifts God has given us as a nation- our natural resources and the immense talent found in every Jamaican. God bless Jamaica and her people.

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President Manley Nicholson, members of the Rotary Club, Kingston and feet may

seem to be firmly planted on the ground, but I am still so very excited about the performance of

our Olympic team in London. The Games demonstrated the amazing talent of our athletes, as

well as the beauty of a nation unified by the potent force of sport! And the fact that it happened

in our 50


year of Independence makes it even more special. I should also mention that this is a

proud year for GraceKennedy, as we celebrate our 90



Social media is still abuzz about Jamaica's athletes, and at least one former international athlete

is now suffering from being struck by the lightning Bolt, bitten by the Beast and attacked by the


We know that it's hard for some to understand such greatness. We'll just continue to feed our

athletes the yam, cassava and dumpling. I know it will come as no surprise to anyone here that

GraceKennedy Ambassador Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce's success was due in large part to Grace

Vienna Sausages! Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has been a wonderful ambassador for our

campaign to get public support for the Jamaican team at the Olympics.2

GraceKennedy's support of our athletes is something I am particularly proud of in my 17-year

career with the company. We are major sponsors of the Girls and Boys High School

Championships, celebrated worldwide as the standard for such events.

We also sent our own Executive Chef Karl Thomas, to prepare nutritious Jamaican favourites

for our athletes in England. We would like to believe that our contribution assisted, even in a

small way, to their tremendous performance.

Our athletes have given Jamaica a phenomenal boost internationally. Now how do we take this

forward? Unfortunately, the success we just had in London doesn't wipe out the economic

challenges we continue to face. While we are doing a fantastic job in terms of our sports and

culture, our economic performance leaves much to be desired.

In a recent Gleaner article, veteran journalist Ian Boyne asked, 'If you had a choice between

seeing Usain further dazzle the world at nine seconds flat and Jamaica growing by five per

cent, which would you prefer?' I would want to say both. And so the discussion today is, how

can we translate that amazing feat into progress for the Jamaican economy? How do we use

that success to spur economic success? How can a country so culturally rich, be so

economically poor? What are we doing wrong, friends? And how can we correct it?

As the nation waits on an IMF agreement to be finalised, there are certain fundamental reforms

which are needed, which will eventually lead to fiscal sustainability and debt reduction, as well

as sustainable growth within our economy.

We need:

ï‚· A sound predictable macro-economic policy framework

ï‚· Disciplined and strong fiscal management of the economy

ï‚· A tax system that is simple, yet competitive 3

ï‚· A modernised labour market geared towards high level of productivity

ï‚· The elimination of Bureacracy so that it is easier to do business in Jamaica. Data from

the 2012 'Doing Business' Report shows that Jamaica's rating is not good.

ï‚· Effective measures to prevent corruption and fight crime, and

ï‚· Supportive infrastructure

I would like to commend the government on setting up the National Competitiveness Council as

I believe this is a step in the right direction.

I have some thoughts on areas that could help us to benefit economically. First, I propose that

we take more seriously, and invest more in sports tourism. Many in the industry feel that this is

the time to seize and leverage the potential benefits if we put the right investment in this area.

Sports tourists travel the world, motivated primarily by their love of sports. These people want to

visit sports sites, attend events, watch sporting activities, and learn more about sports and

sporting personalities.

We have a huge sporting facility sitting, underutilised, in Trelawny. Maybe we can convert it into

a National Athletic Centre, where coaches can come and train with their athletes, particularly in

the winter.

We need to create new industries as well. To my mind, the only avenue to achieve this vision is

to invest in some areas that will promote growth and make Jamaica a business-friendly


I have been saying for a while, that we need to position Jamaica as an International Financial

Services Centre. One area in which we can do it, is sports. Jamaica has a highly marketable

sports brand, particularly now after London 2012. 4

The proposal is that sports figures could come from all over the world to have their financial

planning done in Jamaica. We have a strong regulatory framework, superior telecommunication

infrastructure and a large cadre of professionals, among them lawyers and accountants, who

could provide world class service. We can create a niche market for this, and that could

translate well economically for us. This will also create a huge amount of employment for young

professionals in our country.

Sports may be topical now, and so the question as to how to maximize the benefits of our

recent showing in London is on everybody's lips. But sports is not the only answer. We have to

start thinking about other creative ways of marketing and selling Jamaica, and attracting

investment into this country.

We can use our recent successes to motivate us and spur us on to action items that can change

our economic situation. One such item on the agenda is the redevelopment of downtown

Kingston. I think that this project can be a game changer for Jamaica.

Friends, if our capital city is in bad shape, then it speaks directly to the condition of the rest of

the country. We have the plans on paper to start the fix. I am hoping the action will start soon.

It's a project I feel passionately about, for obvious reasons. Downtown Kingston has been the

home of GraceKennedy for 90 years now. We could never see ourselves anywhere else, and

so, even when others were moving, we chose to stay put. We have never regretted that


It is with the redevelopment in mind, that I congratulate the UDC on taking on the downtown

redevelopment project. I also commend them for earmarking $200 million in funds for social

intervention initiatives downtown. And I am truly excited about the plans, which include:

ï‚· A multi modal transportation hub

ï‚· A festival market place and waterfront promenade5

ï‚· A 200 room five star hotel and conference centre

ï‚· A city centre park

ï‚· The Ward Theatre Cultural Square

ï‚· A new parliament building, and

ï‚· The Kingston Business Centre

Can you imagine the possibilities if all this were done? But I have even more ideas regarding

possibilities, and I will share them with you now.

I envision cruise shipping returning to downtown Kingston, with duty free shopping areas built

for tourists to take advantage of. We have the very interesting Institute of Jamaica and our

excellent National Gallery for them to visit.

Perhaps there can be a reggae museum, even an athletes' museum for them to enjoy as well.

Port Royal and its rich history could be on display for all tourists to see through daily tours.

Of course, all this would need to be done with a master plan in mind, so there would have to be

supporting infrastructure, such as solutions to existing traffic issues, particularly parking. That

master plan should also include timelines on the project's completion, and how it will be funded.

It should form a critical part of our Vision 2030.

I think you would all agree with me, when I say that downtown's value has not been properly

acknowledged, and that a valuable economic opportunity is not being taken advantage of.

Jamaica is a jewel. Downtown is the diamond in the rough, waiting to be cut and polished so

that it can shine as brightly as possible, and live up to its real value.

What does Jamaica's economic outlook look like? What does the future hold? We have got to

find a way to start making some progress, friends. It will only get better when we start taking

advantage of what we have, and using it to our benefit. 6

We are an island of greatness. In culture. In sports. Let us come together in unity, as a nation,

to run that great race towards economic stability. It won't be a sprint - in fact it looks more like a


I would say it is more of a relay, and every group has a part to play. The Private Sector, the

Government, the Opposition, the Unions, Public Sector Workers all need to co-ordinate in a

team effort , so we can achieve great results.

It won't be easy, but this country has heart. With our eyes firmly on the prize, and with sustained

effort, we can experience economic victory too. 50 years later, Jamaica needs it. Looking to

another 50, future generations are depending on it.

God Bless You and God Bless Jamaica.

Thank You.

Burrell: Jamaica will benefit from Olympic success Observer

OSHANE TOBIAS Observer staff reporter

Saturday, August 25, 2012

MANDEVILLE, Manchester - President of the Jamaica Football Federation Captain Horace Burrell believes the country is indebted to the athletes for the publicity gained from their performances at the London Olympics.

Jamaica, led by sprint sensation Usain Bolt, recorded their best ever medal haul (12) at the London Games after claiming four goals, four silvers and four bronze.

BURRELL... I think Jamaica is better off today because of the performances of our athletes


Burrell, who witnessed the Games firsthand while serving on FIFA's 19-man Committee for Olympic Football Tournaments, said the benefits will be far-reaching.

"I think Jamaica is better off today because of the performances of Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the other athletes in London. Therefore, I think Jamaica is indebted to (them)," said Burrell while speaking at Thursday night's award ceremony of the Manchester FA in Mandeville.

He added: "If ever I was proud to be a Jamaican it was during those moments in London. It is very difficult to describe, but it is not something to be taken lightly, trust me. At one point, everybody was talking about Jamaica."

Burrell, a vice-president of the Jamaica Olympic Committee, also praised the government for sending an official party to London to further promote the country. He thinks "brand Jamaica is better off today because of it".

"I also want to thank the Prime Minister (Portia Simpson-Miller) and the Government of Jamaica for sending a team to the Games to take advantage of all the publicity," he said.

"Over the years, we have had some negative publicity in (England). Every time the name Jamaica comes up it would be (linked) to drugs and violence, but I can tell you today that because of the performances of our athletes all of that bad news have been erased.

"Having attended some of the functions at 'Jamaica House' I can tell you that it was (worthwhile) and I believe in not too long from now we are going to see some tremendous benefits.

"Brand Jamaica has benefitted tremendously from the exposure and the performances of our athletes in London and I do believe you will start to see more tourists from Europe coming to Jamaica because of what took place in London."

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The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) was established in 1976. It is a national organisation of private sector associations, companies and individuals working together to promote a competitive and productive private sector.

The organisation seeks to influence national policy issues of a political, social, or economic nature. The Executive Committee, under guidance from the Council, leads this process by promoting discussions with the country's government, political directorate and the opposition. The Organisation is also in close and constant contact with the major multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies.

By being active in the Organisation, on the Council or any of the committees, companies and individuals can contribute directly to achieving changes that will make Jamaica a better place in which to live and work. Virtually everyone in the private sector has benefited in some way from the work of the PSOJ. Membership subscriptions are the major source of the funds needed to carry out this work.

One of the primary mandates of the PSOJ is advocacy. The proactive participation of members, through a number of committees, impacts directly on the development of the private sector. The PSOJ continues to make meaningful representation on behalf of the private sector to ensure that its presence and strong voice are always maintained.

The founding fathers envisioned a number of key objectives for the PSOJ and these are embodied in the Organisation's Constitution:

to provide technical assistance in the form of institutional development and membership development;

to strengthen the Organisation's ability to advocate on behalf of its members;

to capitalise on the benefits of international trade agreements, through the dissemination of timely and accurate information to members;

to promote close and decisive co-operation between members and interest groups whether locally, regionally or internationally;

to promote better co-operation between the various elements in the private sector so that maximum productivity can be achieved for the benefit of everyone;

to ensure that the technical resources and facilities that are available to the country are disseminated to the business sector; and

to serve as a means of co-ordinating the resources within the private sector with specific emphasis on economic development.

2030 Vision For Jamaica

Jamaica is a place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business. 

Our Vision 

We are the unifying voice of the private sector working in partnership with the public sector and civil society to achieve the 2030 Vision for Jamaica. 

Our Mission 

To effectively advocate for the implementation of public policy that enables strong sustainable private sector led economic growth and development. 

Areas of Emphasis (2009-2012)

To promote cooperation between private sector organisations

To formulate and promote a macro economic policy framework which will achieve high rates of sustained economic growth

To formulate and promote policies for the achievement of a lawful and just society

To promote and influence greater transparency, efficiency and accountability in the operations of the public sector

To promote the practice of good corporate governance in the private sector

How are we structured?

Our Organisation is governed by its Council, which is elected by the general membership at the Annual General Meeting to serve for a two year period. The Council elects each year from its members, an Executive Committee, which includes the President and Officers of the PSOJ.

Policy and Direction

The organisation seeks to influence national policy issues of a political, social, or economic nature. The Executive Committee, under guidance from the Council, leads this process by promoting discussions with the country's government, political directorate and the opposition. The Organisation is also in close and constant contact with the major multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies.


Our Executive Committee meets monthly and is responsible for the operations of the Organisation. Through the Committee, we are committed to providing our members with complete access to the Organisation and to respond instantly to issues raised by them.

Day-to-day management is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer and a Secretariat of qualified employees.

Services and Benefits

National and regional representation

International trade linkages and support

Events which allow our members to network with their peers.

Effective advocacy at all levels

Monthly e-bulletin with current information on international trade agreements, missions and promotions, events, training and seminars

Monthly newsletter, The Private Eye with relevant business information

Practical training seminars

Access to economic and trade policy research capabilities

Serving on important government and non-government committees

Access to working with Committees which meet monthly on issues of national importance

Our Achievements

Since its inception in 1976s, some of the initiatives for which the PSOJ has been influential are:

The official adoption of the market economy as the most appropriate framework for the country's long term development;

The process of liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation which began in the 1980s;

The lifting of exchange controls;

Tax reforms in the late 80s and early 90s;

Establishment of the Jamaica America Medical Assistance Committee (JaMAC), in association with the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, to coordinate overseas donations and medical services for the island's health sector;

The reform process in the Police Force, beginning with the Hirst Report;

The drive to connect inflation with money supply;

The ongoing process of electoral reform;

Amendments to the New Companies and Revenue Administrative Acts;

Reversal of the street light cess;

Successful Crime Stop programme;

Development of the National Crime Plan in partnership with the Government, the Opposition and civil society and introduction of new crime related programmes that contribute to the further enhancement of the profile of the Police, including Police Courtesy Week and the Phone-In programme;

Training of trainers and company Directors with a view to increasing awareness of Corporate Governance principles and practises;

Sensitisation of the private sector to developments in the international and regional trading arena through seminars, meetings, and other fora;

Education Committee's participation in the Task Force Report on Educational Reform.

Leading discussions between the public and private sectors, labour Unions and the non-governmental community towards a Partnership for Progress;

Hosting of strategic planning retreats with the Government of Jamaica to identify and implement strategies for national economic development.