Jamaica is doing exceptionally well on the world stage! For the first time one woman has won the 100m and 200m in consecutive Olympics!
Elaine Thompson Herah broke the Olympic record in the 100m with 10.61 seconds and the national record at the 200m final with a time of 21.53. This after being plagued by an achilles tendon injury which caused her to miss the Gateshead Diamond League as recently as 3 months ago.
She also finished third in both the 100m and 200m races at the Jamaica National Championships just one month prior. She has had to be careful to not over-exert and has had to pick her battles well. Certainly her discipline and restraint have paid off. She has now cemented herself as one of track and fields legends.
The first and second fastest women in the world are Jamaicans: Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Fraser-Pryce has also had to overcome her own set of adversities; having had to deliver her son via emergency C-section in 2017.
Her recovery has not been easy but she rose to the occasion earning her seventh Olympic medal. She is a legend in her own right. These are massive accomplishments!
Nationally, this is the second time Jamaica has completed a clean sweep of the female 100 meter Olympic sprint, the first being in 2008; a feat which has not been accomplished once by any other country in the world. Our athletes are special, our programme is special and our nation is special.
The disproportionate prowess of Jamaicans in the sprints has not gone unnoticed, one twitter post read “So we’re supposed to believe a country with around 3 million people is producing this number of world class sprinters cleanly? The probability of that kind of greatness grouping seems extremely low. I’m skeptical”.
One can almost not blame this man for having this kneejerk thought in response to so many blistering accomplishments. Having been called out by Minister Damian Crawford and others, he later apologized noting that his statements were ignorant and that he had educated himself with respect to the great Jamaican sprinting history.
Crawford had noted that “3 million have defeated 300 Million.” This statement concerning Jamaica’s sprinting record certainly holds true. But it applies so well to our culture as a people. No matter how small we may be, no matter how the odds are stacked against us, no matter the setbacks.
We work hard and push to achieve our goals even to accomplishing what seems impossible. But this is not merely an in-built character strength of Jamaicans, it is the blessing of the Lord.
Something about getting gold
Every time you heard the Jamaican National Anthem played as our athletes struck gold, you witnessed a powerful prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ. Though we may take it for granted, I invite you to reflect on these stirring words. “Eternal Father bless our land. Guard us with thy mighty hand.
Keep us free from evil powers. Be our light through countless hours. To our leaders Great Defender, grant true wisdom from above. Justice, truth be ours forever, Jamaica land we love.” The second stanza is just as potent. We stand in hope that the Lord will answer this precious prayer He has put in our hearts.
1 Corinthians chapter 9 verses 24-25 says “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize? Run your race in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours! 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” Here Paul points to the fact that the spiritual journey is like an Olympic race. He notes that we must run intentionally and out of an abundance of discipline, to win the prize for which the Lord has called us heavenward. The verses get almost scary when he outlines that the Lord killed many Israelites because of ungratefulness, sexual impurity and idolatry (1stCorinthians 10). We must run with self-control, self-denial, humility, holiness and passionate love for God. Let’s ensure we make it through the heats! We must run the curves of life with finesse! We run for an eternal crown; and that crown and the podium upon which we will stand are reserved for us for that great day when the Lord Jesus will return in power and great glory; with his exceedingly great reward. We are all running in the eternal Olympics. May the Lord be with us.
Dr. Daniel Thomas is a medical doctor and Christian Advocate who loves the Lord deeply. He is married to Grace-ann Thomas the love of his life and currently leads a youth organization called the Love March Movement; which is committed to empowering the youth to fight for sexual purity and the family in Jamaica.