Last week one of the cable channels was showing the 2016 documentary 'I am Bolt', which captured what was happening behind the scenes with Usain Bolt, in his own words, from 2008 to his final appearance at the Olympics in 2016.

Over the course of those three Olympic Games, Bolt won nine gold medals (the 2008 relay medal was stripped) in what was one of the most dominant eras by any athlete in track and field. I had a full plate of work before me but I was not able to pull myself away even though I had already watched it, maybe four or five times already.

It still gave me goosebumps watching Bolt’s career finally take off the way many of us expected, setting world records and winning gold medals and exciting track and field fans like no one had ever seen before.

It is a critical piece of the sport’s history and Jamaica's history as well.

Before the Bolt era, there were not that many books written about Jamaica’s track and field athletes and there have been many of the latter.

For a country its size, Jamaica has produced so many superstar athletes, it belies imagination. Herb McKenley, Arthur Wint, Lennox Miller, Marilyn Neufville, Donald Quarrie, Jackie Pusey, Merlene Ottey, Raymond Stewart, James Beckford, Sandie Richards, Juliet Cuthbert, Winthrop Graham, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Beverly McDonald, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Asafa Powell; the list goes on and on.

However, by comparison, so little has been documented of their respective careers.

The time has come for us to commission the production of documentaries that will provide archival material on what has been the greatest era of the country’s prowess.

From the current era alone VCB, Shelly, Melaine Walker, Omar McLeod, Sherone Simpson, and more have set records that have become necessary to document.

Not all will be a 107-minute long piece like 'I am Bolt'. The respective stories will determine their own lengths, but it is important that we have these athletes tell us their stories.

These athletes are living history and we should not wait until they are gone to have someone else tell their stories. They should be telling us their stories. VCB and Fraser-Pryce, for example, have some compelling stories to tell.

What do we do with these documentaries?

Well, the government is building a sports museum. These documentaries would be playing on big screens as be part of any tour by those interested in Jamaica’s sporting history. Copies should also be at the National Library to be used in a similar fashion.

The Ministry of Sports should have its own YouTube channel where each of these documentaries is always available to the public for general knowledge, research and similar pursuits.

This undertaking should not be limited to track and field, however.

Alia Atkinson, Chris Binnie, Ali McNabb, Lindy Delaphena, our boxers Mike McCallum, Richard Clarke, Trevor Berbick, Simon Brown, Nicholas Walters are others worthy of being documented.

As time passes, we should not be searching all over the place, oftentimes unsuccessfully, to find data on Jamaica’s incredible sporting history. Our ancestors used to pass knowledge along verbally. We have built statues to honour some of our sporting greats, the time is nigh for us to have more than just images cast in stone.

 

 

The sport of boxing in Jamaica has been missing the likes of former WBA World Featherweight champion Nicholas Walters, but that could soon change, according to president of the Jamaica Boxing Board, Stephen Jones.

According to the JBB boss, Walters, who has not fought since a technical knockout loss to Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO World Junior Lightweight championship, has been a great ambassador for the sport in the island and is still a big name in the ring.

Walters quit in the sixth round of his fight with Lomachenko and returned a year later when he was to fight Arturo Santos Reyes, however, he had to call off the fight with the Mexican after coming down with the flu.

“The last conversation that I had with him (Walters) a few months ago, he was fully committed to coming back into the fighting game,” said Jones in an an interview with Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.

More than just indicating a willingness to get back into the ring, Jones believes Walters, who some have believed lost the passion for fighting after his loss to Lomachenko, was in the right frame of mind for a comeback.

“His mind was right and he just had to get himself back into fighting shape, and not only just to make the weight, but make sure that his fitness is at a high level,” said Jones.

At 33 years old, Walters does not have a lot of time to stage a comeback at the moment and this gives Jones the feeling, his return could be very soon.

“I am not sure how far he is in that (training) regard, but I am encouraged ... because being not just a fan, I think he was one of the most incredible talents and enough time has past and his coming back would have to be anytime now,” he said.

Jones believes that Walters’ wins and pedigree over the course of his career, overshadow any failings he may have had in his recent past and that his return can augur well for the sport.

“I think that (would) be a major boost for boxing in Jamaica because Nicholas Walters is still a tremendous name in boxing,” said Jones.

“I think it will also be a major boost for boxing worldwide because he was a world champion and he fought some incredible opponents and he had some incredible wins,” he said.

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