A Big Drum Nation Editorial
Bigdrumnation wishes to congratulate the seven young men and women (Kanika Beckles, Oreoluwa Cherebin, Kurt Felix, Kirani James, Corey Ollivierre, and Bralon Taplin) who represented Grenada so proudly in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These athletes (including the two swimmers) showed the world the highest ideals that Grenadians emulate and aspire to — inner strength, discipline, persistence, grace, humility, goal orientation, and resilience. An appreciation of our athletes cannot be complete without recognizing the administrators, coaches, and other professionals that provided the necessary preparation and support for their success.
Sports have this rare ability to elevate individuals and whole communities. And furthermore, sports forge discipline, and such discipline is inescapably vital to nation-making and national cohesion. Nations are forged and sustained in fields of unremitting effort. Our leaders may do well to take the cue from the accomplishments and the spirit of our Olympians.
Our tri-nation of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique shows the world once again the might and pride of smallness. In fact, according to the BBC and websites such as medalspercapita.com, Grenada tops the list of participating Olympic nations with our one medal – Kirani James’ silver medal run in the men’s 400 meters – coming from a population of just over 100,000. This is the second consecutive Olympic that Grenada has led in this capacity (following Kirani’s gold in Beijing). The appearance of two Grenadians in the 400 meters finals (Kirani James and Bralon Taplin) is yet another remarkable accomplishment of our athletes. All participants in that race were sub 45, making it the fastest Olympic 400 meters ever!
Yet another remarkable accomplishment was brothers Kurt Felix and Lindon Victor’s outstanding performance in the men’s Decathlon. These decathlon athletes were represented among the most difficult and rigorous of the Olympic events. Kurt Felix placed within the top 10 competitors while Lindon Victor finished within the top 20.
What do these feats say about the Grenadian youth, the Grenadian people? In responding to the question one thing is crystal clear: Grenadians have a genius for defying great odds. Kirani James is a towering symbol of this Grenadian defiance!
Kirani’s temperament is also instructive in helping us measure our expectations as a people. Never boastful and without pretensions of being supernatural, always recognizing his limitations, he is forever striving to improve and develop. Grenada, as a whole, can take a cue from our Olympians, attitudinally and practically.
Caldwell Taylor, Sue Patrice, Martin Felix