Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter
As guests were jumping around and whooping it up for Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller clutched her heart, begging it to slow down.
Yesterday, the lobby at the Office of the Prime Minister was the scene of pure national pride as guests watched the local duo take gold and silver in the men's 100m final at the London 2012 Olympics. Before the race, Simpson Miller said a quiet prayer as the runners got into their blocks. And after Bolt and Blake sped to the one-two finish, she hugged anyone who came close enough, including some Cabinet ministers who came to see it unfold.
Simpson Miller occasionally pumped her fists in jubilation but always reverted to a silent gaze upwards, thanking God for the blessings bestowed upon the nation.
Sympathy for Asafa
"We thank God Almighty for our athletes. Thank you Father and continue to guard us with your mighty hand. One love," she said. Simpson Miller also had sympathy for the other Jamaican in the race, Asafa Powell, who pulled up before completing the race.
"We should now give him our strength and our love." The prime minister arrived just as the women's 400-metre was about to begin nearly an hour before. But she quickly grabbed a seat at the front to see if Novlene Williams-Mills and Rosemarie Whyte could add to the medal haul. The mood was understandably sombre as they finished down the track. In the approximately 40 minutes between the finals, Simpson Miller was busily welcoming guests including special invitees, South African High Commission officials.
But no doubt, the men's 100m final was what they all came to see. There was applause every time one of Jamaica's athletes came on screen and at the end, many felt the medals were an early Independence gift.
Last night Opposition spokesperson on youth, sports, gender affairs, entertainment and culture, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, congratulated Bolt on his victory.
Grange also congratulated Blake on his silver medal and Powell for making it to his third final.