The world smarted and all stood in praise at the remarkable achievements of the Jamaican athletes at the Beijing Olympics and this is as it should be.
A few months before the Olympics the Anglophone Caribbean athletes distinguished themselves at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics in Poland.
The scenario at the Olympics began with the Jamaicans in the Olympic Games of 1948. Since then there has been much interest in the performances of athletes from the Anglophone Caribbean in track and field athletics more than in any other sport.
We have grown accustomed to several of the larger and more advanced countries of the world taking great interest in the international exploits of athletes from the Anglophone Caribbean such that some may well be considering engaging experts to analyse the reason for the successes attained.
In the realm of cricket the region has for many years satisfied itself with the view that the West Indies Cricket team somehow embodied the aspirations of us as a people. We therefore extolled the virtues of Caribbean unity through sport as evidenced by the support provided by our peoples to the team.
In football the Reggae Boyz received overwhelming Caribbean support when the team earned the right to contest the World Cup finals. The same occurred when Trinidad and Tobago achieved the same measure of success some years later.
There is a sense in which the peoples of the Caribbean have latched on to the idea that we are somehow united when we support a team from any one of the countries in the region or a regional representative team.
It is amazing to listen to the lusty voices of the peoples of the Caribbean singing along with David Rudder to “Rally ’Round the West Indies”. Those listening and who are not from our region would probably stand in awe and comment on the tremendous regionalism of our peoples. They are apt to come away believing that we are indeed one Caribbean, a united people committed to the well being of the Caribbean.