Too much, too soon

Published: Saturday | September 19, 2009

The Editor, Sir:

There is a popular biblical saying, "give to Ceasar what is Caesar's", but who determines when Caesar has had enough?

Honourable Usain Bolt, the fourth highest honour in Jamaica and, yes, the former Highway 2000 is soon to be the Usain Bolt highway. Over the years Jamaica has produced brilliant athletes, musicians, poets and authors. Deon Hemmings was the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic gold in the 400m hurdles in 1996. In 2005 Asafa Powell held the 100m world record and has consistently broken the 10 seconds barrier. He has the fourth fastest time in the history of the event. Veronica Campbell-Brown, five-time Olympic medallist and is the second woman in history to win two consecutive Olympic 200m events - no Order of Jamaica.

third highest honour

Bob Marley has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jamaica gave him the third highest honour, Order of Merit. Usain Bolt, triple Olympic gold medallist and world recorder holder for 100 and 200m, Commander of the Order of Distinction. With all our great trendsetters, Jamaica still stands "likkle but tallawah". However, questions are straining my mind since the news broke about Bolt's latest gifts. What criteria are "the honourable" title based on? Did he meet these criteria fully? What qualifies one to be bestowed with this honour?

Not taking anything from Usain's achievements but the honourable title, the new highway, (what did he contribute to the building of that highway?) plans in circulation of having a statue of him in Falmouth square and naming the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium after him, I just think it is all too much.

the other athletes

What about the other athletes and great pioneers of Jamaica? Honourable should come with a level of maturity, a life lived which we can look at and emulate. Usain is still young and has a far way to go. It's too early to predict what will happen next. In the years to come and at the end of his career, I guess all that is left is for us to give him the $10,000 note.

Achievements should be celebrated and rewarded but to what extent should we give to one person and forget the others? Bolt's two new accolades are just too much, too fast for me.

I am,etc.,