Looking back on 2012

We have come to the time of the year when it is customary, almost de rigueur, to look back and reflect on the past year’s happenings. For most of us, the musings will inevitably be of a most personal nature – notable achievements, disappointments, anniversaries celebrated, the pursuit of happiness punctuated by sickness and death – all ticked off in the wins and losses columns on life’s scorecard.

For some of us, beyond the intensely personal nature of our reflections, there will be the realisation that much of what has affected our daily life – our struggles, big and small, to provide comfort and security for our families, our ambitions to do more for them and ourselves – can be laid at the feet of the politicians, the people whose actions most determine the economic and social environment in which we function.

We may well be moved to wonder how we coped amidst all the trials and tribulations heaped upon us but we will give thanks for the love and support of family and friends and the strength we derived from our different faiths.

On a somewhat less spiritual level, some of us may think of the refuge we sought in the arts, the world of entertainment and, of course, sport. And as we look back on the books we read, the movies we saw, the celebrities whose lives we vicariously entered and the marvellous sporting performances we witnessed, we will perhaps arrive at an appreciation of the measure of respite we gained from life’s travails and the lessons learnt on the way.

The British media and public, for example, are still rhapsodising about the huge success of London 2012 and the stellar exploits of their athletes at the Games, the first ever victory for a Brit in the Tour de France, Andy Murray’s Olympic gold medal and his victory at the US Open, which made him the first British man to win a grand slam event since 1936. Good for them.

But we in the Caribbean also have much sporting success to celebrate as we close out the year. The Jamaican sprinters again shone at the Olympics. They were, of course, led by the incomparable Usain Bolt, who completed an unprecedented ‘double treble’ by winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay for the second successive Olympiad, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who successfully defended her 100m crown whilst also copping silver in the 200m and 4x100m. The Bahamas men’s 4x400m relay team ended the US’s 28-year domination of the event. An unheralded 19 year-old, Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, surprised the world by becoming the youngest ever winner of the Olympic javelin title. And another 19 year-old, the long-striding Kirani James of Grenada, already a World Champion, became the Olympic 400m Champion, but not before he strode into the hearts of all at the end of the semi-final when he asked double-amputee Oscar Pistorius to swap name badges in what the Daily Telegraph called “an act of classy sportsmanship.”

There was also, at long last, sporting glory for the West Indies cricket team, who won the International Cricket Council Twenty20 World Cup, their first World Cup after a 33-year hiatus, doing much to restore West Indian pride in the regional game after 17 years of almost unrelieved pain. The West Indies had a relatively successful year in Test cricket too, proving to be more competitive against Australia earlier in the year and ending 2012 with four successive Test victories against New Zealand and Bangladesh. And Guyanese cricket fans, in particular, would have taken great pride in the return, albeit for a short period, of the redoubtable Shivnarine Chanderpaul  to the position of number one Test batsman in the world rankings.

It is sobering to remember though, just in case anyone was daring to dream that the proverbial corner had finally been turned for West Indies cricket, that the West Indies embarrassingly lost the one-day series to Bangladesh, revealing that selection, coaching and captaincy issues, as well as the age-old problems of inconsistency and lack of focus, remained woefully unresolved.

On balance, however, 2012 was a good year for sport in the region. And, as we look back on the year, we can at least celebrate the brilliance of our sportsmen and sportswomen and the uplifting power of sport, reminding ourselves of what we can achieve, individually and collectively, when we learn to marry our natural abilities with discipline, dedication and the determination to prevail.

Latest in Editorial

default placeholder

Brexit’s referendum and the Caribbean

Caribbean citizens with long memories, or with knowledge of the establishment and demise of the West Indies Federation, of which of course Guyana, then British Guiana, was not a part, will probably have cringed when Prime Minister Cameron announced a referendum on Britain’s continued participation in the European Union.

default placeholder

Déjà vu?

The newly installed City Hall has gotten off to a bad start. Given the years of political controversy and public ridicule that preceded the recent local government elections, City Hall deserved better.

default placeholder

Parking meters deal

Anyone who listened to or read of the press conference held last Monday by the Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green on the visit of her team to Mexico in connection with the parking meters project would instantly come away with the view that the city is a hotbed for  machinations more associated with some medieval enclave rather than a municipality born of democratic elections and aspiring to transparent, open and accountable governance.

default placeholder

Britain’s referendum

Exactly how a people could vote in favour of inflicting damage on themselves must seem perplexing at first glance. In fact it is not so, given that those in Britain who voted to leave the European Union in Thursday’s referendum were hardly reticent about the reasons for their choice.

default placeholder

What’s the matter with Britain?

One way to make sense of Britain’s decision to quit Europe is to gaze across the Atlantic. Not long ago, during the years of the second Bush presidency, millions of America’s poorest citizens proved to be the Republican Party’s staunchest supporters.

default placeholder

Zero sum game

During the previous administration of the PPP/C, many commentators described the political status quo in Guyana as a zero sum game.

default placeholder

Hindsight and the Diamond well

In September last year, residents of Diamond Housing Scheme and some surrounding communities saw water cease to flow through their taps.

default placeholder

Britain’s vote on European Union membership

Tomorrow, the electorate of the United Kingdom votes on the issue of whether to remain or leave the European Union (EU).


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: