Fire on Ice! … Mayhew looks forward to historic bobsled competition

first_imgMeet 17-year-old Daniel Mayhew.He cannot drive a car, but he is quite competent, and on evidence, very comfortable guiding a bobsleigh downhill at 110km/h.The Charlemont High school student will head off to a training camp next week before taking his place as Jamaica’s first representative at the Winter Youth Olympic Games where he will feature in the Monobob competition.Remember that movie Cool Runnings?Well this is yet another version of Jamaicans defying logic and excelling on ice.Mayhew’s case becomes even more outstanding when the fact that he only stepped in a bobsleigh for the first time a mere 11 months ago at a Swiss training camp is taken into consideration.”I can’t recall exactly what I was feeling, but I know I was very nervous at first. They started me at the middle of the track, so that I didn’t get as much speed as I would if I started at the top,” Mayhew recollected during a recent chat with The Gleaner.HEARD HORROR STORIESHe heard many horror stories before that maiden voyage, but his first few runs were incident free, and as his confidence grew, so did his popularity among the other young athletes at the camp.The Jamaican, who lives in the St Catherine community Orange Field, which was also home to former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, went on to win two ‘B’ finals and book his place among the qualifiers for the February 12 – 21 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.”I am a little bit surprised. I was the underdog and coming out on top in the B finals shows that I am going somewhere and I can see that I am improving my driving skills and my overall performance,” Mayhew added.”Going to the Olympic Games is a really extraordinary feeling. When I finished my qualifying run and knew that I qualified, it was an overwhelming feeling. I am hoping to get a medal possibly even the gold. The potential is there for me to do it, all I have to do is listen to my coach and I know I can come out on top,” he said.It was that well-rounded coach Harry Nelson, his eighth grade physical education teacher, who took the academic enthusiast out of a class one day and greeted him with the words: “I am have mission for you. You are going to compete in the bobsled.”Hard words to process for a teenager, who had little interest in actually competing in sports. But Nelson, who was impressed with the form shown during eight grade PE, was convinced he had the potential.”At first I was not attracted to the sport, it all happened really suddenly … I really wasn’t that interested at first; who wants to do that (bobsled)?” he laughed. “It’s a very different experience, but it has been extraordinary.”Mayhew, who has passed eight subjects all with ones and twos has hopes to become a commercial pilot in the future but is, however, happy that he decided to take the leap in the bobsleigh and is looking to do his best in Norway.But has he seen the movie Cool Runnings?”I saw that movie before. It was really just like any other movie to me. It really wasn’t that interesting to me at first, but before I left I watched it again because I had a feeling people were going to ask me about it,” he laughed.Maybe his story will play a part in a sequel.last_img read more

Dorothy Heights Spirit Triggers Message for Women and Human Rights

first_imgAs she stood amongst hundreds of thousands of women, men and children who came to Washington D.C. Jan 21 to advocate for women’s rights, former D.C. First Lady Cora Masters Barry reflected on the words of a local female icon of the Civil Rights movement.Several local leaders, as well as leaders from throughout the country, gathered in Washington D.C. to march in the Women’s March on Washington in protest of President Trump and his policies. (Photos by Rob Roberts)“Dr Dorthy Height is looking down on us and smiling,” Barry said. “You can’t do a lot with one finger but with a clinched fist you can strike a mighty blow.”And as women in cities across the country struck a mighty blow against President Donald Trump and conservative ideology and, according to national and local leaders, they are part of a movement and not just a march.“We are more harshly criticized, we are more frequently criticized, and we are more wrongly criticized at every single level,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) told participants at the Women’s March on Washington. Women need “every woman and every man to speak up for us, too.”Several local leaders, as well as leaders from throughout the country, gathered in Washington D.C. to march in the Women’s March on Washington in protest of President Trump and his policies. (Photos by Rob Roberts)While there were many prominent speakers from Madonna to Alecia Keys, the strongest statement came from the hundreds of thousands of women who packed the streets and the subway wearing pink caps, trumpeting vulgar signs in protest to Trump’s lewd comments about the female body.“We are very excited that this movement has inspired so many people across the globe,” said Janaye Ingram, director of logistics for the women’s march.” We want people to harness their energy to create substantive change on local, state and federal levels.”While observers say the march upstaged President Trumps Inauguration and shocked pundits in terms of  turnout, Ingram is not a newcomer to march planning.“I planned the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and other marches and demonstrations, so I have experience working with agencies around these types of efforts,” Ingram said. “This planning took place in two months, happened a day before inauguration and had 4 national holidays that happened during the planning process.”According to Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner, president of the Skinner Leadership Institute, a local non-profit leadership training organization, the march was just the beginning of a new progressive movement.“The real America stood up city after city,” Skinner said. “As a woman of faith it was amazing to see all of the women standing for women’s rights and Human rights.”But Barry, founder of the D.C. Southeast Tennis Center, said she is fighting the fight for every day workers to instill values in the lives of young people.“We are instilling values into young people, socially, culturally and ethically,” Barry said. “These issues affect us all and we have to reinforce these lessons and emphasize the importance of voting.”last_img read more