The naming of our national athletic stadium in honour of Grenada’s first ever Olympic goal medalist Kirani James is overpoweringly deserving and undoubtedly long overdue. His name ought to be vividly displayed in the brightest colors on this iconic structure donated to Grenada by the Government and People of China and will unquestionably inspire this generation of young people and many others in their pursuit of excellence in sport and other endeavours.
James’ criteria for this national recognition are unmatched by any other Grenadian sportsman or sports woman. A gold medal at the World Athletic Champion in South Korea; an Olympic gold medal won in London 2012, and now a silver at Rio 2016, and, on each occasion, competing against only the very best in the world in one of the most competitive and prestigious events – the 400 meters.
Kirani James’ Olympic gold puts Grenada in a very special place of honour in world athletics history – the smallest, both in terms of size and population, to have won the 400 meters! So indeed, we are rewarding the triumphant young man most fittingly – naming a stadium, a symbol of pride and dignity, as our appreciation of his trailblazing success!
His stardom, his prominence and his celebrity all shine in their splendour and glory bringing the greatest attention to Grenada – not only for producing a world champion , but a talent whose spectacular achievements attract visitors from across the globe to come to our country and experience our tourism product.
Let me completely dismiss as rubbish and doltishness the arguments from those who say that just a section of the stadium should be named in his honour.
Our history will show that, unmistakably, no one else parallels his international successes; so he has to be in a class by himself.
What is appropriate is that in the Kirani James Athletic Stadium we can recognized other sports people by way of naming various departments in the facility after them, for example, players room, gymnasium, the library, the video room, the audio room, the doctors room, the equipment room, the archive room, among others.
Nations name stadia and major facilities after men and women who have done extraordinary things that captured the attention of the world, and our Kirani James has done that.
This athlete, unearthed by former school teacher and now coach at the Ministry of sport, Albert Joseph, is God’s very special gift to Grenada. Just approaching 24 years of age, he is an inspiration to all Grenadians at home and abroad. He is the most unifying force in our nation.
May his athletics’ career continue to blossom with perfect health and God’s richest blessings. (Rae Roberts – Grenadian Voice)
PHOTO -: The Grenada National Athletic Stadium (courtesy Brain Storm Productions Inc.)