Guyana should be very proud of the accomplishments of its athletes at the just concluded Carifta Games in Martinique, with three gold medals and one silver. Kadecia Baird (USA based) won one gold and one silver in the 400m and 200m respectively, while Cassey George (Guyana based) took home 2 golds in the 1500m and 3000m. Two of those wins were extra special.
To outshine Jamaica’s best who had to settle for 2nd and 3rd in the 400m and again shine like a pink diamond with another win in the 3000m with Jamaica coming in 2nd and 3rd again, is one of the best results ever for Guyana. The USA camp that overlooks Kadecia Baird should be on cloud 9, and the same for Cassey George.
The overseas based Guyanese communities especially those in the USA should take stock of Ms Baird’s accomplishments and seriously consider rallying much needed support from all angles if they want to see her represent Guyana as she progresses towards the international circuit. Failure to do so could possibly see Ms Baird being lost to the USA after she obtains her citizenship, because I am not so certain that Guyana can afford to maintain her as she progresses. At the end of the day, the USA is home to international major sponsors, and any Guyanese-based athlete would have to be out of their mind to turn away an endorsement from a US company.
It is my hope that a representative from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport will be present at the airport on the arrival of the athletes from Martinique. I am not lobbying for a red carpet welcome home, because I don’t believe anyone would support such a gesture, but at least the track athletes have earned that moment of being greeted by an official from the ministry.
Those athletes who did not medal should not despair, but simply improve on their game plan.