Monday, September 25, 2000
Jones wins race, hearts of Belize
If by now you are not familiar with the name Marion Jones, chances are
you've been living underwater for the last month. She's the U.S. born
sprinter, who has the distinction of being the world's fastest woman,
and figures to win as many as five gold medals in the Sydney Olympics.
She also happens to have a Belizean mother, also named Marion, who at
some point must have taught her daughter an awful a lot of pride in
Belize. We know this because in the wee hours of Saturday morning,
Belize time, Marion did an amazing thing. Immediately after winning her
first gold medal in the 100 metre dash, in front of a worldwide TV
audience of perhaps a billion people, she hugged her mom and brother and
then proceeded to grab a Belize flag. She held it in front of the camera
and even after being handed the stars and stripes, she continued to
parade the Belize flag along with that of the U.S. It was a display that
could not help but put a lump in the throat of every Belizean watching.
But a picture is worth a thousand words and in case you were not among
those tuned in to Channel Five on Saturday morning you will definitely
want to take a look at this. Running commentary is provided by the
Caribbean Media Corporation's Lance Whittaker and Hubert Lawrence.
"Marion Jones looks down the track; that's where the gold medal is."
(Gun goes off)
"They're off clean this time. Ottey gets up reasonably well, Tanya
Lawrence in lane one running well for Jamaica. Marion Jones comes
powering through. Fynes struggling on the outside, Ottey struggling for
a medal. Marion Jones with a big performance wins gold. Marion Jones in
10.75. Very, very close for a medal on the inside, Tanya Lawrence ran
very well, may have taken a medal. Ottey struggling, but Jones lands
gold predictably in a hot 100 metre final."
(Marion embraces mother and brother, then runs with Belize and U.S.
In a press conference following her impressive victory, Jones was asked
exactly why she chose to display the banner of Belize.
"I have a huge support system in the country of Belize and you know... I
am half Belizean and so I think that I wanted to show my support for
that country as well as the country I was born and bred in, the USA.
Marion begins the quest for her second medal, the 200 metres, on Tuesday
evening, with the finals of that event scheduled for around 3:00 a.m.
Belize time Friday morning. In related news Belizean Jayson Jones--no
relation to Marion--will run his qualifying heat in the men's 200 metres
around 5:00 Tuesday evening Belize time. We hope to have that event
live, as well as on tape during the evening news. And as much as we have
bigged up Marion Jones in this broadcast, we remind our viewers that as
great a tribute she has paid to our country, the most lasting gift she
can give is to inspire Belizeans like Jayson Jones, Emma Wade and dozens
of future Belizean Olympians to perhaps one day achieve what she has.