When October rolls around, the grand dame of athletics, Pauline Davis-Thompson, would have completed 12 consecutive years as an International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Council Member.
Prior to that, starting in 2003, she was a member of the IAAF Women’s Committee. At 52, she is into her 37th year of significant contributions to the development of athletics, nationally, regionally and internationally.
We had a Sunday morning chat and as per usual, she was passionate. Davis-Thompson, of Original Golden Girls fame, laments having been told by the Bahamas Association of Athletics Association (BAAA) that the option will be utilized to put forth someone else for the IAAF Council slot when elections are scheduled during the 2019 World Championships, in Doha, Qatar, September 28 - October 6.
Nevertheless, demonstrating resolve, she emphasized that she is prepared to continue her role in the development of world athletics, in some capacity.
“There was much more that I wanted to do at the IAAF Council level , but it is what it is. I accept the situation and am very satisfied that I am leaving the IAAF Council much better off, and with the Bahamas’ name, more highly respected than how I met the situation,” she said. Indeed, that is the case. She certainly was a plus factor, as always.
The development has resulted in a lot of reminiscing for the former CARIFTA Most Outstanding Performer, Olympic and World Champion.
“I move on with joy in my heart, love for my Bahamians and the sport that has been so dear to me, and great appreciation for the many supporters who have had my back through the years. I continue to be mind-boggled at the show of love. It happens all the time for me. I went to get my car serviced and checked out by a mechanic. After the work was done, I asked for my bill. I was told that my money couldn’t be spent. He did not want my money.
“Another time, a lady came up to me and touched my shoulder. She looked at me when I turned around and said ‘I know you have carried a lot on these shoulders for your country.’ I went to get a hamburger and a can of juice. A little girl just unassumingly paid the bill, expressing satisfaction to be able to make a gesture to me.
“I train on Goodman’s Bay. One day, a man came running up to me. He told me he was looking for me for three days and asked that I just wait a minute. He came back with a large bag of juicy looking mangos. I could go on and on with such stories. The expression of appreciation to me, year after year, has been overwhelming and I thank God for touching people that way.
“I have poured out everything in me for my country, when I was competing and while representing this nation in one of the most important sports bodies in the world,” said Davis-Thompson
Arguably, Davis-Thompson is the most glamorous athletic product ever to come from The Bahamas. No one has been more thrilling, more fascinating, more driven with pride and desire to do good for her fellow Bahamians.
Some call her the “Chosen One”, convinced she was selected by one infinitely greater than man, to go forth and make inroads in athletics and as an ambassador for her country.
Her story continues.
Pauline Davis-Thompson’s legacy grows!
No doubt, she will resurface, after October, in some other significant portfolio that allows continuity of service to world athletics.
Continued best wishes to the matriarch of the Original Golden Girls!
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org on WhatsApp at 727-6363).