photomark 1 1024x531 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1Jamaicans home and abroad are ONE JAMAICA! We are found all over the planet, from all major first world cities to off the beaten path, including New Zealand, Africa, Guam and Iceland!

The Olympics in Rio stands in front of a nation with a homeland population of 2.8 million people with perhaps an equal amount overseas. As we wait in anticipation for the opening ceremony, to see the first glimpse of what makes us click – the Jamaica National Flag and our athletes on global display, we are reminded of what lies ahead – a nation united around the track.

This means we have possibly a total of 11.2 million piercing eyeballs getting ready to strike our television sets throughout the world.

There will be reggae music being played throughout the streets of Kingston, Jamaica and other parishes.

The “pot covers” will be used in their usual rhythmic fashion style – knocking them together to pump out triumphant sounds in the middle of Half-Way-Tree Square.

Street and watch parties will all be on deck, well organized throughout the country and ready for the big showdown.

Every 4 years, our country becomes one of the most unified nations on the planet, to simply state, what it really means to be a Jamaican.

The athletes carry the joy and passion exemplified within its people and remind its people that they are on a mission to STRIKE GOLD!

Crime and violence are almost obsolete. The country is linked like a chain, buckled and joined together in peace, harmony and joy – ONE LOVE!

This can further be identified throughout its capital city with billboards, buses, shacks, derelict buildings, rural homes all standing tall, embellished by our single most national pride “our national flag” flying high from every socio-economic background, including the rich to the poor.

Our pride has no boundaries or separation. We are indeed a proud nation.

Rio, Brazil is a city well known to most Jamaicans, stemming from another nationally loved sport, FOOTBALL, with Pele. We are on familiar turf mentally and hence expect lots of noise in that city.

There’s quite a bit of unusual drama leading up to this Olympics and it still continues, compared to 4 years ago in London. But quite frankly, the environment will not affect us. We are not easily distracted by what’s happening around us. The athletes are focused and poised to make yet another historic appearance.

The team has the fastest man and woman on the planet and includes a former world record holder, world champions and rising world talents, which have surfaced since the London Games.

The stage is set for yet another big showdown between Jamaica and the United States.

We are on the edge of our seats to see the lightning strike GOLD – Usain Bolt, to take gold in both the 100 and 200 and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to regain her dominance at the highest level.

The relay team is STACKED! This is one of the areas where we could see both the men and women break the 4x100m world record.

This is promising yet to be another massive showdown when the talkative American, Justin Gatlin, who has recently got the attention of the fastest man on the planet, to finally break his silence – as according to BOLT, “ Gatlin will feel my full wrath”.

Folks, this in itself should NOT be taken lightly I believe we are in for one of our best Olympics, to date –

Please stay tuned for more, as I keenly watch the events and bring it all to you, from my home in New Zealand, with my daily dose on behalf of our Jamaican athletes.

**The views expressed in this article are those of the author (Simon Bowen) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to,
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Simon Alexander Bowen is a food entrepreneur, professional engineer, former Penn Relays Assistant to the Director, Track & Field Analyst and a nationally ranked top 800m Jamaican specialists. Bowen a graduate from George Mason University, 4-time NCAA All-American and 2 time Penn Relays champion, Jamaican national record holder (2 mile relay) ran a Personal best of 1:46.38 in 1993 and recorded similar marks in 1994 – 1996 and was both a qualifier for the 1995 Gothenburg World Championship and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He now resides in New Zealand with his wife, Alecia Cole-Bowen; the couple has two boys, Tyree and Connor.


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