JOA boss Samuda urges culture of legacy creation in Olympic movement

ROSE HALL, St James — Christopher Samuda, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), says Jamaica’s sports mandate is not only about creating champions, but “standard-bearers” who are expected to fashion legacies for others coming behind to benefit from.

The JOA boss said leaders should not take their roles lightly as they were to be “servant leaders in the Olympic movement”, serving a nation that will call up on the world to say Jamaica will be a leader in the values of sports.

He was speaking at Saturday’s sports extravaganza held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in honour of the first visit to Jamaica by Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.

Samuda, who described Bach’s visit as historic, said: “In the Jamaican movement we not only create champions, we create standard-bearers, because we understand that though we are now participants in the heritage of sports, we are now legacy creators and let this visit telegraph to the world that the IOC in articulating those values are saying to our athletes be standard-bearers of the Olympic movement.”

He thanked the presidents of the over 13 sporting disciplines that were present and gave demonstration of the events, saying “we are indeed grateful; we do not take the privilege of leadership lightly”.

“We are in fact servant leaders in the Olympic movement and we are grateful that you have given us this opportunity to serve not only the Olympic movement, but to serve a nation, a nation that is breathing very well in sport, a nation that will call up on the world to say Jamaica will be a leader in the values of sports.”

Bach’s three-day visit, which ended on Sunday before he flew to the Dominican Republic, was described by Samuda as “a historic occasion for Jamaica”.

“Our sense of history is not only confined to the visit of the president of the International Olympic Committee, it is confined yes, but it is an experience that the president in his wisdom has given us in Jamaica an experience that goes beyond event performance, an experience that goes beyond world records, that goes beyond gold medals, silver medals and bronze medals, because in the Olympic movement we are all standard-bearers and this is an experience for which we are very grateful.

“Mr President, what you have given Jamaica and we in Jamaica are absolutely proud to be a member of the Olympic family, an Olympic family that is undergirded by principles, values that are expressed in performance, gold medal performances, world records.We are also part of a global citizenry in sports and the JOA plays our part in that seminal dispensation,” Samuda said.

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