Carifta Games and the Jamaican dominance

The Games have emerged as the region’s premier track and field athletics event annually and has earned the envy of much of the rest of the world in terms of the particular sport.
Over the years Carifta Games has witnessed the emergence of several outstanding youths, many of whom have gone on to global prominence in the sport.
As a junior athlete participating at the Carifta Games, Usain Bolt of Jamaica sprinted to a remarkable 19.93 in the 200m in Bermuda in 2004 thereby establishing a world record for the event for his age group.
The standard of the Carifta Games continues to rise even though one would have thought that like so many other things in the region the event would have petered out and long since forgotten. This has certainly not been the case.
Instead the Carifta Games has shown a remarkable sense of regionalism that ranks as high as or higher than any other regional institution. Carifta Games has brought and continues to bring the region together in a way other institutions have not been able to do.
The Carifta family that convenes every Easter weekend includes all of the English, French and Dutch speaking Caribbean islands, a total of 25 countries. For this feat to have been maintained for so many years is indeed commendable.
The governments of the region have not yet begun to appreciate the full extent to which the Carifta Games have contributed to the regional integration movement, perhaps even more so than the much-vaunted achievements of the sport of cricket in this regard.

Jamaica’s rich athletics legacy
Ever since the Jamaicans made their presence felt at the Olympic Games of 1948 it seemed that the entire country committed itself to the inculcation of a culture of track and field athletics.
While there has always been a strong cricketing culture in Jamaica it seemed that the populace recognised that the attainment of success at the quadrennial Olympic Games did much more to facilitate global recognition of the existence of the country and its people than anything achieved by its cricketers, especially given the fact that the latter sport was played only by some of the former British colonies.