At long last we have a comment and some insight from the Honorable, Dr. Denzil. L. Douglas Prime Minister of St. Kitts/Nevis on the whole Kim Collins debacle that occurred during the London Olympics 2012.
Track and field athlete Kim Collins was sent home from the London Olympics without a chance to compete. It was an over-reaction by the powers that be and, in my opinion, the punishment did not fit the crime. The end result was a lost opportunity for an athlete to achieve a lifelong dream of winning a medal at the Olympics. Apparently, the Prime Minister agrees:
“When we go there to represent our country, we must remember there is a responsibility we have and that goes for not only the athletes; it goes as well for the management team and the officials. There are rules, regulations, and guidelines, and these must be adhered to. You have the right to challenge them, but up there on the field of play is not the place, in my opinion, to challenge them. Get these things out of the way before we go there to wash our dirty linen in front of the whole of London and the world. That was not good, and I believe that there are serious lessons that we have learnt from this,” Dr. Douglas commented
The Prime Minister seemed to question if one organization should wield so much autonomy in deciding the final fate of these athletes in such situations:
“One thing that I need to say is that the association, (St. Kitts and Nevis Amateur Athletic Association) and the NOC (National Olympic Committee) are independent organizations….One of the lessons that we should learn from this experience is, to what extent can finality of action reside only within the organization? … Or can there be some national governmental ministerial input because this is protocol which has not been established, except that we, the government, allow the organizations to operate independently. I believe that at the end of the day we have been in the media spotlight, but not in the way we wanted to be.”
He also went on to detail the communications that transpired between himself and Kim Collins on the day in question:
‘‘Kim there seems to be an impasse between you and the Olympic Committee. Can’t we put this behind us and settle this when we get home, we are here to run let us do it for the glory of the country, the glory of the sport, for your own advancement?’…
After a few email communications, Collins informed Dr. Douglas ““they already pulled me”.
There should have been some sort of resolve to vet the issues AFTER the athlete was allowed to compete. Athletes train their entire lives to be able to compete in the Olympics and nothing, short of testing positive for drugs, should detract from this goal not even an overly zealous, power-wielding Olympic Committee.
Sadly, Kim Collins wasn’t alone in being pulled from competing. Teammate Tameka Williams was also sent home.
SOURCE: Leeward Times