$200 BBD stops Barbados Olympic Team from getting 200m Bronze in 2000 Olympiad: BARBADOS SPRINT LEGEND OBADELE THOMPSON SPEAKS OUT ON KIM COLLINS DEBACLE

{Editor’s Note – This item was found on Facebook and originally published by St Kitts-Nevis Times, we’re reprinting it in shock and disgust at what seems to be extreme parsimony by LOC of Barbados Olympic Management in costing Obadele Thompson what should have been not 1 but TWO Bronzes!}

FORMER OLYMPIC MEDALLIST OBA THOMPSON SPEAKS OUT: Upset but not surprised by the treatment of Kim Collins (former 100m World Champion from St. Kitts)! {IMAGE VIA – Facebook/St Kitts-Nevis Times}

My hat has long been tipped to Sir Kim Collins. He was not the fastest guy in the world in terms of raw speed, but he was one of our generations best Championship sprinters and a true warrior. Regardless of the details, it is a SHAME how officials who are NOT the ones training and facing immense internal and external pressures to compete well, can make certain decisions.

How is barring Kim from competing in his 5th and final Olympic Games (OG) in the BEST interest of a small country like St. Kitts on the BIGGEST sporting stage in the world in the MARQUEE event (the 100m)? It is NOT!!! The government of St. Kitts NEEDS to investigate this matter, because the absence of Kim is a big blow for the promotion of the country internationally, it reeks of banana-republic-powerplay-foolery, and it cannot be good for the national pride of its citizens.

Kim has done far past enough to deserve a “free pass” to do WHATEVER he wants. And here’s the thing… you don’t have to worry about what he will do with that “free pass” because he’s a serious competitor who has a real chance to make the OG Finals!!! You don’t become World and Commonwealth Games Champion in a cutthroat event like the 100m without being absolutely serious and committed.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I don’t usually comment. But let’s me state my deep belief. If I represented Jamaica during my career, I have NO DOUBT that I would have been the World and Olympic Champion! Let me repeat that – I have ZERO DOUBT that if I represented Jamaica, let alone one of the biggest countries, I would have been the World and Olympic Champion!

{FILE IMAGE VIA: SKNIS – WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIALS 2011} Kim Collins (is) not the fastest guy in the world in terms of raw speed, but he was one of (the Caribbean’s) generations best Championship sprinters and a true warrior…

If only people knew how “easy” the Jamaican, US, British, Canadian, etc. athletes have it. Let Bolt or Gay run for one of our truly small [minded] countries and you would probably not know much about them. Why? I’ll get to that in a few moments.

Sure, guys Bolt, Blake, Gay and Powell are phenomenal talents, but they are living the good life because others paved their paths. Bolt is BOLT because of the revolutionary and awesome Jamaican tradition which began 60 years BEFORE he emerged! He comes from a country which produced the likes of Arthur Winter, George Rhoden, Herb McKinley, Lennox Miller, Don Quarrie, Bert Cameron, Ray Stewart, Merlene Ottey, etc., etc.

He is a product of a system that allows his talents to be FULLY harnessed with minimal hiccups. He has NEVER had to go to Championships with inadequate gear or without medical staff. Or stand on a podium after winning and see the wrong color flag and not hear the Jamaican anthem! I can tell you all stories… believe me!

Surveying my career – what and who I had to fight from my own country, the poor equipment that I had for early in my career, walking into big stadiums of 100k people and seeing NO Barbados flag or colors except the lone official flag hanging high up in the stadium, having no teammates to talk to in my event as I was processed through the call rooms, etc. before I ran, and several (not all, but many) incompetent or unprepared or petty power-hungry officials.

  • Doubt me? Consider this: I had the same time as Ato Boldon in the 200m Finals at the Sydney Games in 2000, but the Barbados athletic officials DID NOT even file a protest within the 30 minute window after the event (athletes cannot file protests on their own behalf)!!!! Result: Boldon 3rd and I came 4th. Reason given: It would have cost $100 USD to do it! Wow, so all my hard work for years, all the national pride that we could have amassed if it was deemed that I was ahead of or tied with Boldon thereby giving our country it’s second Olympic medal as an independent nation, was not even worth a walk to the official protest room and $100 USD. After the Allyson Felix/Jeneba Tarmoh situation this year at the US Olympic Trials, who knows… and trust me, I’ve had photo finish results re-read on the circuit and been bumped up.

Ironically, days later when I was asked by top Jamaican officials at those Games about my protest and I told them that none was made, they were completely dumbfounded and angry. They told me that that would never happen if I ran for them (re: their protest for Merlene Ottey v. Gail Devers in the 100m at the 1996 OG in Atlanta). Where were MY NATIONAL TEAM OFFICIALS when I needed them most??! You tell me, if Bolt or Gay will ever face this in their career? You know how difficult it is to find the emotional energy to fight your own people then go out and line up and take on the world in events measured in thousandths?

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