Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
“But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune”-Obadiah 1:12b
Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T) joy and Jamaica’s pain came together last week in Switzerland. Fourteen years after the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, the 4x100m men’s relay team from T&T belatedly received their gold medals from the President of the International Olympic Committee. They were upgraded from silver after the disqualification of the Jamaican team due to a doping violation from one member.
As a T&T citizen married to a Jamaican, it was a bittersweet occasion personally. When one considers that sprint legend Usain Bolt lost one of his nine Olympic gold medals in the process, the celebration becomes somewhat muted. In the West Indies, notwithstanding our differences, we often see ourselves as one Caribbean. When other islands succeed, we rejoice. When they falter, we mourn with them. We are a regional family.
It means, then, that across the region many persons would have looked at the highlights of the delayed medal presentation with jubilation as T&T increased its overall Olympic gold medal tally to three. These athletes have been rewarded for their years of consistency and sacrifice. Congratulations, guys!
Spare a thought for their Jamaican counterparts, though. The anti-doping rules were applied, and the consequences kicked in. Yet, there can be no boasting or bragging if we heed Obadiah’s warning quoted above. When another faces misfortune, we do not gloat. Humility reminds us that we are all works in progress with our own frailties to overcome. With that perspective, we also remember the Divine Author of life who opposes those who walk in arrogance but gives grace to the humble.
Life’s ups and downs give us memorable moments. View them all with long-term lenses and through the eyes of humility.
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