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TrackLife International

Should Asafa Powell, Other Athletes Get A Statue?

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Regarding the Asafa Powell statue controversy, even some ardent fans of track and field disagree with his selection because: what qualifies one for statue consideration? I don’t think that point was defined at all, and therein lies the crux of the problem.

In tennis circles, one has to win at least two Grand Slam titles to be honored as a Tennis Hall-of-Famer. Therefore, guidelines should be setup and each honoree adjudged on the basis of such judgments before a final selection is made (tantamount to the Tennis Hall of Fame).

Now, if the qualification route determines that Powell is qualified, so be it. But the honoring committee (?) should clearly state who gets into the ‘Hall’, and this should be done posthaste; that is impatient of debate.

Shericka W Dr.

An example of how athletes could be honored: a community mural honoring the 2008 Beijing Olympic 400m silver medalist, Shericka Williams. –Photo by Desmond Palmer

Should that clarification fail, we will hand out statues to everyone, from Yohan Blake to Sherone Simpson to Kerron Stewart to Kemar Bailey-Cole to Warren Weir…and the list goes on.

Admittedly, the list above carries some very fine athletes, but if everyone gets a statue, it sorts of robs the process of its ‘real’ intent and prestige.

The process of honoring some of the fine athletes above may simply be, to name a street, a building, or sections of a field, or an event for them (a la the Grace Jackson meet, which honors 1988 Olympic 200m silver medalist Grace Jackson).

Does Powell deserve a statue? It is an open discussion, and the failings rest squarely at the feet of the ‘honoring’ committee, for neglecting to state objectives for their selections. The one thing I do know is that the selection of Ottey, Bolt, Campbell-Brown and Fraser-Pryce carry no such grudge.

I rest my case.

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