Giant on the move
Jamaicans show how to relax ahead of the Games
My colleague Balazs Koranyi blogged yesterday about how hard it is for athletes in the build-up to the Games, when their preparations are pretty much complete and there’s too much sit and think.
Well, maybe not every athlete. The Jamaican track and field team had no qualms about letting their hair down and showing off their considerable assets at a pre-Games party this week.
The coaches, physios and psychologists were forgotten for a while as most of the squad were squeezed into a Beijing Jazz club on the eve of Jamaican Independence Day. And if anyone doubted that muscles could be sexy, they should have been there.
A group of local women set the scene when they whipped off their traditional masks and long silk gowns to deliver a raunchy display that left the movie Dirty Dancing resembling a church picnic. Not to be outdone, hurdler Shevon Stoddart and long jumper Chelsea Hammond joined them while modelling their new track outfits.
Decathlete Maurice Smith then went through his “Mr Universe” poses, a skin-tight suit amplifying his formidable physique, while 100 metres world record holder Usain Bolt finished things off by joining the band for an impromptu reggae jamming session.
The whole thing was performed to a background of delirious young girl fans, a mass of media cameras, and two security men whose dour glares never faltered, even when the whooping was taking place inches from their faces.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding chipped in with a good luck message by video link and the group went off into the night all smiles and excitement ahead of what, for most of them, will be the biggest adventure of their lives.
PHOTO: Sprinter Asafa Powell of Jamaica smiles as he attends a flag-raising ceremony ahead of the Olympic Games, August 5, 2008. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok