‘No athlete is ever bigger than their country’




Senior Sports Reporter


IMMEDIATE past International Amateur Athletic Federation councilwoman Pauline Davis-Thompson said she’s appalled by the fact that the Bahamas could not field a team for the fifth edition of the World Athletics’ Relays.

The relays, which started in the Bahamas with the first three editions before it was moved to Yokohama, Japan in 2019, will be staged from May 1-2 at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, Poland.

“I am heartbroken and ecstatic about our Bahamian athletes not making themselves available to compete for the Bahamas at the World Relays,” said the outspoken Davis-Thompson, who is now a local coach in the BAAA. “It’s unfortunate that the Bahamas has to withdraw from competing in the World Relays that we held for three consecutive years. I have to remind our athletes that they are Bahamians first and they must never forget that.”

As the governing body for track and field in the country, Davis-Thompson said the athletes must be aware that they are accountable first to the BAAA and as such, should place their schedule around the events that the Bahamas has to compete in.

“If you become an Olympic gold medallist or a world champion, you are never ever bigger than your country,” said Davis-Thompson, who ran on both the Bahamas women’s 4 x 100m relay teams that triumphed at the IAAF World Championships in 1999 in Seville, Spain and the Olympics in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, the same time that she got the gold in the 200m.

“No athlete is ever bigger than their country, none.

“When we became the Golden Girls and we had the Golden Knights, none of us were bigger than our country. I noticed that today’s athletes have a different mindset and a different mentality.”

Davis-Thompson said it doesn’t look good that the elite athletes are making excuses as to why they can’t represent their country.

She said each athlete should be proud to put on the Bahamian colours and to represent the Bahamas, not just in their individual events, but as members of the relay teams.

“The Bahamas love relays and it has brought so much joy to our country,” said Davis-Thompson, who rose to stardom at home when she anchored the under-20 girls’ 4 x 400m relay team to a thrilling come-from-behind victory at the 1984 CARIFTA Games.

“I make no apologies because the majority of the athletes are on subvention and they should remember that they are Bahamians first and not have to go through the athletes’ management team to get them to compete for the Bahamas.”

Davis-Thompson, however, congratulated those athletes who have and continue to support in the BAAA and make themselves available to compete for the Bahamas as they exhibit their loyalty to the Bahamas first.

While serving as an IAAF councilwoman, Davis-Thompson helped in the Bahamas hosting the three editions of the World Relays in 2014, 2015 and 2017 before the event was moved to Japan after the government decided not to commit the finances to continue their fourth edition in 2019.


andre 1 year, 11 months ago

Pauline it looks like Mr. Archer mislead you as well. Gardiner say he did tell Mr. Archer he want to run.

Mr. Archer throw Gardiner and Shaunae under the bus


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