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Grand Homecoming Planned For Julien Alfred

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Saint Lucia’s sprint queen Julien Alfred is to receive a grand homecoming on Friday.

This will be a triumphant return home for Alfred, her first trip home after securing the world indoor 60-metre championship in Scotland last month.

She stormed to victory in 6.98 seconds.

The anticipation is high as Alfred is expected to touch down at the Hewanorra International Airport around 2:30 p.m., where a welcome ceremony awaits, to be attended by government, sports, and other officials.

A motorcade into the capital, Castries, is also among the plans.

In an exclusive Sportsmax TV interview, the Bowerman Award winner expected a quiet return home.

However, she said she appreciated the ‘overwhelming’ support from Saint Lucians.

The 22-year-old, who grew up in poverty and used to run barefoot, is returning home on a mission to give back to her country.

As part of her mission, Alfred has outlined her plans to launch the Julien Alfred Foundation on Saturday, a platform that will provide opportunities and support to the youth.

“I think it would be a good idea to give back to the youth, just doing things that I wish I had at a young age, to help them grow in the sport or whatever they want to do,” she told Sportsmax TV.

 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. What is going on in this lovely island of ours? A young woman becomes famous overnight and we are ready to pull all the stops to turn her into a braggart and a showboat by hosting motorcades and all sorts of ceremonies for her. The question that I would like answered is this: Did she asked for such obtrusion and encroachment? Perhaps not from my understanding, but yet still we have busybodies who have nothing better to do ready to worship the ground that this woman walks on. What is the point in all this? Someone please enlighten me as I fail to see the need for such extravagance, indulgence and reckless profligacy.

    People in this island are very quick to throw parties and other forms of celebrations to honour people who have achieved fame and fortune elsewhere. These folks most of the times don’t give a rat’s nest about the wellbeing of their country- except of course when it suits them. There are countless examples of these so called “famous” St Lucians who have gone all out to shun their country of origin. They will only relay and beam out it’s importance when it suits them. St Lucia has plenty of these opportunists waiting to pounce much to the chagrin and annoyance of the parties concerned.

    This young woman is the first St Lucian to run and win a major athletic title which should be commended. She was able to overcome obstacles in her life to become a champion at such an impressionable age. But should we be spending valuable and hard-earned taxpayers dollars into funding such ostentatious, splashy and flamboyant event when this money could be spent elsewhere? There are loads of problems that’s besieging our nation and our politicians fail to address it yet when it comes to throwing in parties just to have a good time these brutes are able to find and channel the resources to do so.

    The money that is being used to fund this extravagance and immoderation should be spent elsewhere. There are endless young people who are unemployed and homeless. There’s also a pressing health crisis and a plethora of other ills facing our splendid isle yet we toss them aside to make way for the honouring and observance of exaggerated self-importance. To say that this was not the case would be putting it mildly. The government and the powers that be should be addressing these problems with utmost urgency and without delay. The populace needs jobs, healthcare and housing. These three essentials ought to be provided before any pomp and splendour can be unleashed without mercy unto the unwitting and heedless people. Our people love a fete too much and will do anything to engage in one. We need to prioritize for when the going gets tough.

    In one commentary I noticed where someone wrote that this athlete used to run barefoot. I find this remark to be so condescending and patronizing. Who haven’t walked or paced the ground without shoes? Millions of kids all over the world have done so. She is not the first nor will she be the last to do so. I remember walking without shoes both in Haiti and St Lucia as a small child. We have all done it. I remember my parents scolding me for not wanting to wear shoes on a few occasions when I was in the company of other youngsters who were doing sporty things without shoes on their feet. Folks love to play the victim in order to court sympathy. It boils down to all things being about them – They did this to me, they did that to me and look at me now. They never tell you what they did which enabled the assailants to victimised them in the first place. That is so typical in this island and epitomises us as a people.

    This young athlete is not in the class of impeccable and flawless athletes like Florence Griffith Joyner, Gail Devers and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce to name a few. She will need constant nurturing to get to where they once were. Her talent is precocious and there is no doubting this but she still has a long way to go. She needs to cultivate her untapped skills and talent and this takes time and endless effort to do so. The upcoming Olympics in Paris this year should present itself as a good opportunity for her to show what she is truly made of. There is no greater opportunity as the olympics is the greatest sporting show on earth. It is the place where athletes who are worth their salt are truly able to shine and to achieve the ultimate prizes. I do hope that she will be able to do just that and to help put St Lucia and By extension the Caribbean on the map – Not that our archipelago isn’t on the map already. The athletes from the Northern Caribbean have largely contributed in doing so already with their reservoirs of both tapped and untapped talent. Their flair and aptitude is for all to see.

    St Lucians should stop waiting for people to achieve and for them to acknowledge and honour their achievements. Our people should stop waiting for others to do and for them to observe and drink a toast to. We should all be participating and in so doing we can all become winners. We brag about such luminaries like Sir Arthur Lewis, Sir Darnley Alexander and Sir Derek Walcott yet so few are willing to emulate them. St Lucia is a culture of secondary achievers. We wait for others to do and to follow. We are followers and not leaders. Since Derek Walcott won the Nobel prize for literature quite a number of wannabees and impressionists came unto the scene with nothing to show or impressed with. They were cashing in and soaking the limelight just for the sake of it. We can do better than that in our amazing and splendid little isle. Too many copycats and imitators. Stop trying to be like others. Set your own paths and standards so that others can follow.

    I am imploring the powers that be, the brutes and other politicians to stop spending the island’s taxpaying dollars on such bootless, useless, ineffectual, unproductive and fruitless events which achieves nothing. If such an event should be kept perhaps it should be done so by the member of parliament for the area in which this young lady comes from or the department of tourism. I think it is imperative that they do so. They should have no compunction in doing so – Our hard-earned tax dollars should be spent on more important things like healthcare, housing, unemployment and feeding the hungry and needy. It should not be spent on honouring an athlete who will soon forget about her country of origins once she starts to hit the headlines and limelight in a very big way.

    Just look at egotists like Usain Bolt and Merlene Ottey. They have abandoned their lovely island of Jamaica to seek pastures elsewhere. Ottey sought refuge in Eastern Europe recently while Bolt bought a huge mansion for his family all the way in Australia. That says a lot about these athletes once they have made it. It is all about them and no one else. A number of them are narcissists and swanky. They only care about themselves. Let us spend our money wisely, discerningly and carefully in St Lucia. Please save for rainy days and hurricanes like my parents used to tell me. St Lucia we love!

    Viva St Lucia! The land of my Beautiful mother.
    Malcolm L’Overture
    Paris France

  2. Should St Lucia 🇱🇨 not be proud and Julien Alfred does not deserved to be Honored and treat deserved ?

  3. @ Malcolm L’overture.

    Let me enlighten you since you asked to be enlighten in the huge tome you unleashed on the reading public.

    First. Honouring a citizen who has achieved in the history of our nation such a feat is worth every bit of tax payers money honouring her. It is notable the Miss Alfred has already planned to give back to her nation by aiding a younger generation of athletes to follow In her footsteps. In essence she is making it easier for those who are talented but lack the necessary resources to pursue the life of an elite athlete. That in itself is worthy of praise. It’s often the case foreigners honour our citizens more than we take notes of their achievements. For instance, Sir Derek Walcott…he was almost worshipped in the USA and Britain…he was in great demand to be given the professorship of literature in those countries world class universities… perhaps it’s time we laud our citizens and shower them with flowers

    Secondly. You claim the the money used in honouring Miss Alfred should be used to care for the those who are homeless, jobless etc etc.. How does spending a few thousand dollars of tax payers money to honour a daughter of the soil, change the prospect of the homeless or jobless if that money was diverted to the homeless and jobless? How much would that few thousand dollars achieve if it was diverted to the jobless or homeless? ….yet you fail to recognise that Miss Alfred’s initiative will go a long way in giving prospective young athletes a platform to pursue better career paths thus getting then out of poverty, homelessness, pursue academic studies etc etc. Would a few thousand dollars of tax payers money achieve that for the same poor and homeless youths?

    Thirdly. You stated that it was condescending to state that Miss Alfred used to race bare footed when she was young, which if one has to be honest is an true and factual anecdote in her life’s story to highlight the great heights which she has summounted which also includes overcoming poverty and other challenges….yet wouldn’t you say you have been condescending on your very self by stating that you yourself walked barefooted when you were young and even being scolded by your parents for doing so? It is indeed unfair to make such a statement while in the same breath make a statement about other young people also walked barefooted…you sir accuse the condescender of being condescending while you condescend on others…. including condescending on yourself…

    Fourthly. You said that Saint Lucia should stop waiting for people to achieve and for them to acknowledge and honour their achievement..etc etc…. in paragraph 7. Yet you have just finished castigating and castrating the government for honouring Miss Alfred in the previous paragraphs. Sir you can’t have it both ways. It’s either you are against honouring Miss Alfred with tax payers money or you are for it. In any case, it is my view that enough is not being done to honour high achievers in any endeavours, not enough is not being done to promote athletics in Saint Lucia. I know a hand full of people in the 80s and 90s who could have done amazingly well in athletics to represent Saint Lucia had the government put the necessary mechanisms in place to develop them as athletes. Men that could run 100m in times similar to other international athletes…men that could have competed in the long distance races and could have medaled…. So if the government is starting to show interest, it’s only fair that they give Miss Alfred the honour she rightly deserves.

    I hope this enlightened you…since you asked…

  4. @C-WIZ … damn good clap-back!
    I am very proud of julien Alfred, and further to make her feel loved and appreciated by her peers is just fine – as a matter of fact, setting standards for other young female athletes to follow in her footsteps.
    Sorry, but not sorry Mr l’Overture – you’re blowing a lot of unnecessary cold air. You need to take a soak in the warm Caribbean Sea.
    It is better to sing her praises now while she is shining.

  5. The entire island is proud of Julian Alfred , so stfu Malcom with your bipolar lengthy gibberish…smph….,, St Lucians and the entire World are looking forward to hearing about your New Foundation.👏🇱🇨 what a wonderful and inspiring initiative an perfect timing!. Name the new mini roundabouts the Julian Alfred roundabouts.

  6. This Malcolm, the lengthy comment you have sat your butt down to type tells us how unoccupied you are. Unbelievable that you had enough time on your hands to type such rubbish. Julien Alfred has earned this medal and she deserves every praise and every motorcade there is. Get off the internet and find something constructive to do with your time. If she turns around and chooses to buy a mansion in another part of the world, then that’s her choice. Who are you to dictate what choices others should make? You just sound like a very miserable person. Keep your misery to yourself and don’t project it on others.

  7. Malcolm shut your ass you have so much time to write that long comment stupid fool bad mind

  8. @Malcolm🤢🤮🤮🤮🤢 Kerp your worthless shitty gibberish to yourself!!! We won’t read it even, oh Please; Juju deserve our tax monies for making history!! Y don’t you come over your bum from Franxe and help your mother’s birth land as you claim Nonsense! You must be JEALOUS TO SAY SUCH RUBBISH!
    JUJU YOU DESERVE LAND, HOUSE, CARA AND MORE. THANK YOU🇱🇨 in 🇬🇧

  9. To all the Malcolm L’Overture bashers, why don’t you lot leave the poor bloke alone? The man has a right to his opinions and expressions. We are so critical in this country. I have read many of Malcolm’s essays which I must say is brilliantly written although I may not agree with everything that he writes but I will defend his right to express his views as I would also defend others. I am also not impressed with the “Big Show” that they have put on for this young lady. She is an athlete who has just started out and people are making a big fuss over her.

    Did we do the same thing for Darren Sammy when he won the World Cup? Darren is a far greater sportsperson than this woman who achieved the ultimate prize when he captained the West Indies team when they won the World Cup. What did the island do for him back then? If anything Darren should have been the one deserving of a ceremony of that nature. Darren Sammy is a people’s person and his game is a team game unlike athletics which is individually led with massive egos involved. Athletics, golf and Tennis are all egocentric sports which caters for single individuals unlike football, basketball and cricket which are team sports. I prefer team sports as opposed to individual sports. The West Indies under Sammy won two World Cups and yet we did nothing to honour him.. Nothing to celebrate his remarkable achievements.

    What is the obsession with Julien? She is just starting out and I think that her admirers are stifling her out already. They are setting her up to fail. Why don’t you lot let the poor woman breathe FGS? You are putting so much pressure on this poor girl to do well all the time. She is not perfect and will make mistakes like we all do in whatever that we do. She is under tremendous pressure from the baying Lucian mob and that is not the way to go. It is most certainly not the way to stay on top of your game. The less pressure added the better it will be for her. The politician in whose constituency she comes from was going on about her being a constituent of his instead of giving St Lucia, her country the full credit and praise. Why don’t politicians stay out of this? FIFA does not allow politics to get into the game of football and I think it is imperative that Athletics should be doing the same thing. By contrast it is not fair that so much hype, merriment and exuberance is being feted thrown down Julien’s way while a greater sporting icon like Sammy had none of this and by extension the great West Indies team on winning the World Cups.

    We need to be fair and to support our sportsmen/women in equal measure. I quite like Julien and I am happy for her to be achieving but we must stop putting pressure on the poor girl to live up to our expectations. Please leave her alone and stop putting pressure on her young body to please your indolent selves. Let her concentrate on her sport. Let her compete in a less pressurised environment and stop fussing over her before she implodes. She has a life too and we should learn to respect her by putting less pressure on her. Please let her be herself and not what you want her to be in order to please yourselves. That isn’t too much to ask.

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