‘Golden Girl’ Pauline Davis-Thompson speaks out
Pauline Davis-Thompson, the inimitable one, the grand lady of world track and field, remains as outspoken and aggressive, as those characteristics have styled a fantastic career that has spanned 37 years of excellence as a junior athlete, senior and subsequently notable officer of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Now, set to be no longer functioning within the IAAF forum, she relishes and takes very seriously her role as The Bahamas Global Sporting Ambassador. In that light, she opted to continue to address the hot issue regarding Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle and her relationship with the national sports community, in general.
While there are those (and I can speak personally to this) who have enjoyed quality interactions with Rolle, others, particularly some federation leaders, have targeted her with a lot of criticism. The impasse appears to be becoming more deep-rooted and, according to Davis-Thompson, has gone international.
In an “open” letter to President of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) Romell Knowles, dated June 17, 2019, Davis-Thompson appears set for battle, to whatever end, in defense of Rolle.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to address unfortunate utterances by members of the sporting fraternity. While I attended a series of meetings in Monaco, France, in my role as The Bahamas’ Global Sporting Ambassador last week, I was utterly disgusted by the attacks that my fellow sportsmen levelled against the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle.
“I wish to first state that this type of behavior is inconsistent with the tenets and philosophies which undergird the industry and community of sports. The remarks by representatives of the BOC and others were and are unsportsmanlike to say the least and counter-productive to the development of sports,” the letter expressed in part.
In the interest of balance, the secretary general of BOC, Derron Donaldson, was contacted for a response, and notably, the supreme sports organization in the land is taking the high road.
“We are focused now on the Pan American Games (which are just around the corner, July 26 to August 11, in Lima, Peru), related matters and other sports developments programs. We don’t wish to contribute to a controversy that serves only to further negatively impact sports which is so significant to this country and to those of us within the fraternity. We highly respect the ‘Golden Girl’, Pauline, for what she has accomplished, but our view is that it is best to move on. The circumstances she speaks of are behind us and we are moving on in our efforts to boost national sports,” said Donaldson.
The outlook is appreciated.
I’m also of the view that a continuing battle, revolving around Rolle, is not a good thing. I, too, hold Davis-Thompson in high esteem, but come down on the side of the BOC in how this lingering controversy should be handled. I wish to point out though, that if Rolle has been disrespected, that is unfortunate and ought not be condoned.
The national sports infighting must stop. No winners will result if the “relationship/personalities” controversy continues.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.
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