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World Relays A Ticket To Paradise

The Golden Girls - the famous winning quartet from 2000

The Golden Girls - the famous winning quartet from 2000

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

WHEN Pauline Davis Thompson celebrated her relay team’s gold-winning performance at the 2000 Olympic Games, she didn’t believe her home country would host a major athletic event in her lifetime.

Yet as 800 top runners from 42 countries descend on the country for the inaugural IAAF World Relays, her wish – and those of thousands of Bahamians – will be realised.

Yesterday, she joined Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Daniel Johnson and the Managing Director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Lionel Haven, in addressing concerns over the country’s preparedness for hosting the two-day event, which begins on Saturday.

The stadium where races will be run and athletes will train is about 99 per cent complete, she said. And only 1,000 tickets are left for each day’s events.

Mr Haven added: “Operations are moving on very, very well. What we have left to do is largely cosmetic. We have very large numbers of Bahamians working. We’re not operating according to the clock and when I say that I mean we’re not running 9 to 5 anymore. If you have to work through the night, get it done. We are confident everything will be done on time for the event.”

On tickets Mr Haven said: “General admission tickets are the only remaining tickets and they are available only for the eastern grand stand. All other tickets have already gone.”

Mr Johnson said: “Bleachers used during Junkanoo parades have been put up – a thousand seats; as many seats under safety conditions. Please don’t come on Friday evening looking for a ticket. You will be disappointed,” he said.

The Minister said he will reveal full details about the event’s budget and economic impact at a later time.

Mrs Thompson, who serves on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) council, explained that she played a pivotal role in ensuring the Bahamas was chosen to host the inaugural event.

She said that during a meeting with council members, when the topic of who would host the games was raised, she put up her hand, saying: “Now y’all know y’all want come to paradise right? Y’all have never been to the Bahamas for anything like this. Everyone looked and me and they smiled, and they said, ‘you know what,’ yeah, maybe, why not, and, of course, I had the biggest supporter in the house, President Lamine Diack, who came here in 2002 for the Carifta Games and fell completely in love with the Bahamas and the Carifta games.”

Saying that the success of the event will determine the country’s future as a top sports destination in the region, she urged residents to: “Bring your goat skin drums, your cowbell, your whistle and let’s just show the world a grand Bahamian time. Let’s show them the spirit of the Bahamian people because that’s what they love about us; they love our spirit; they love our warmth; they love our friendliness; and that is what I’m expecting, my fellow Bahamians.”

Comments

242orgetslu 7 years, 6 months ago

PLEASE READ AND PASS ON! This is the link where the full story is: http://si.com/vault/article/magazine/...">http://si.com/vault/article/magazine/...

Across the inky-blue Gulf Stream from Florida, near the sheer edge of the Great Bahama Bank, a new island is emerging from the sea. Although it bears the appealing name Ocean Cay, this new island is not, and never will be, a palm-fringed paradise of the sort the Bahamian government promotes in travel ads. No brace of love doves would ever choose Ocean Cay for a honeymoon; no beauty in a brief bikini would waste her sweetness on such desert air. Of all the 3,000 islands and islets and cays in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay is the least lovely. It is a flat, roughly rectangular island which, when completed, will be 200 acres and will resemble a barren swatch of the Sahara. Ocean Cay does not need allure. It is being dredged up from the seabed by the Dillingham Corporation of Hawaii for an explicit purpose that will surely repel more tourists than it will attract. In simplest terms, Ocean Cay is a big sandpile on which the Dillingham Corporation will pile more sand that it will subsequently sell on the U.S. mainland. The sand that Dillingham is dredging is a specific form of calcium carbonate called aragonite, which is used primarily in the manufacture of cement and as a soil neutralizer. For the past 5,000 years or so, with the flood of the tide, waters from the deep have moved over the Bahamian shallows, usually warming them in the process so that some of the calcium carbonate in solution precipitated out. As a consequence, today along edges of the Great Bahama Bank there are broad drifts, long bars and curving barchans of pure aragonite. Limestone, the prime source of calcium carbonate, must be quarried, crushed and recrushed, and in some instances refined before it can be utilized. By contrast, the aragonite of the Bahamian shallows is loose and shifty stuff, easily sucked up by a hydraulic dredge from a depth of one or two fathoms. The largest granules in the Bahamian drifts are little more than a millimeter in diameter. Because of its fineness and purity, the Bahamian aragonite can be used, agriculturally or industrially, without much fuss and bother. It is a unique endowment. There are similar aragonite drifts scattered here and there in the warm shallows of the world, but nowhere as abundantly as in the Bahamas. In exchange for royalties, the Dillingham Corporation has exclusive rights in four Bahamian areas totaling 8,235 square miles. In these areas there are about four billion cubic yards—roughly 7.5 billion long tons—of aragonite. At rock-bottom price the whole deposit is worth more than $15 billion. An experienced dredging company like Dillingham should be able to suck up 10 million tons a year, which will net the Bahamian government an annual royalty of about $600,000.

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proudloudandfnm 7 years, 6 months ago

Lord I hope they hired professional event coordinators to run this show.....

If government is involved in any way shape or form this is going to be embarrassing....

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