The Olympics are officially over and I’m sure I am not alone in that what-do-I-watch-on-TV-now panic. There was some big breakout stars this time around — none bigger or more talked-about than Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. This Trini to the bone was proud to see two silver medals go to Trinidad and Tobago athletes. But for sheer unabashed delight in unexpected victory, no athlete could top Jamaica’s Shelly Ann Fraser. I LOVE her!

Watching her win the women’s 100 got me feeling all kinds of emotions — jumping for joy right along with her, then verklempt at her heartfelt victory speech. Jezebel did a little tribute as well, celebrating her “brace face smile” and linking to the actual race itself.

Shelly Ann’s silvery grin made me instantly like her, and her words afterwards made me fall in love — she told the BBC, “A lot of yam, banana and dumplings produce top three!”

That’s when I knew Shelly Ann was a girl after my own heart. From her name alone — I immediately thought of that Nineties bashment Red Rat tune — I bet she heard no end of that in school. That girl, that girl Shelly Ann!

To see a girl from yard bigging up what we in the Caribbean call “Blue food” or ground provision on the BBC really warmed my heart. I could already tell she had to work hard to get where she is today, and watching this interview with her mom proved that.

For those of you who are patois-challenged, her mom is delirious with joy as she exclaims,
“We can come from the ghetto and produce good things out of the ghetto.” She gives up thanks to the people of Jamaica, to her family, to her pastor, and most of all to God.

My island people didn’t let me down — already there are nuff tribute videos to the Jamaican athletes who made waves in this year’s races. This one, using Sizzla’s Rise to the Occasion, is my personal favorite.

Like I said last week, big up Jamaica! You made the whole Caribbean proud. Shelly Ann Fraser and Usain Bolt are living proof that we can come from a small place and do big, big things. I already can’t wait to root for you in the next Olympics!

(Photo courtesy of Jezebel, by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Megan says:
August 25, 2008, 12:10 pm
Yea, Jamaica did great. Big up to Sanya Richards and the other three for getting gold for the US in relay!
1969 says:
August 25, 2008, 12:33 pm
Yes....big ups to Jamaica. They dominated in Track and Field. And also to my fellow Trinis for taking the silver!!!
Instant/Vintage says:
August 25, 2008, 1:52 pm
Aww! I was so proud! Not born there, but my mother's side is from the yard so I swelled out my chest when I saw the races. Shelly Ann, Usain, and J-A did their thing!
Aisha says:
August 25, 2008, 2:32 pm
This is wonderful. Jamaica and the whole Caribbean is re-asserting its position on the world map. JA baby!!!
pets says:
August 25, 2008, 3:02 pm
TnT got 5 silver in all - Thompson got 2 (100M & Relay) & the others were rest of relay team.
Megan says:
August 25, 2008, 3:40 pm
Usain Bolt's arrogance just killed it for me. He needs a big serving of humble pie.
Olivia says:
August 25, 2008, 4:23 pm
Caribbean doing big things in track & field, it was so exciting watching the events and now its over. I felt kind of sad watching the closing ceremony, I know one thing though when the athletes get back home its going to be a nice piece of celebration for them. I hear from some of my cousins in Jamaica that some work establishments will be closed for day since everybody is waiting for the athletes to arrive at the airport in Jamaica. It still blows my mind how everybody received free digicel minutes though. lol
Lark says:
August 25, 2008, 6:29 pm
Haha, I haven't had provision in the longest time! Man, my mouth is starting to water. :)
SoFrolushes says:
August 25, 2008, 7:40 pm
mmm yam banana and dumplin...cant eat them everyday as I am trying to diversify my pallette to trim down. i loved what her mum said...tek it to God... and you can achieve anything. ghetto people can achieve anything. bless bella i love the phrase patois-challenged...thats classic.
topseekrit says:
August 25, 2008, 7:50 pm
I was telling everyone that her win was pure and authentic - it was really refreshing to see someone so genuinely excited about winning a gold medal. The veteran olympians simply smiled or kept a straight face and let's not talk about those who were downright pissed to get a silver and bronze medal. We're all for achieving greatness, but dayum be happy you got a freakin' medal even if it wasn't gold the 2nd or 3rd time around!!!! Big up to the West Indian massive - how did I miss that part about ground provision? LOL LOL
Sabrina97 says:
August 25, 2008, 9:00 pm
Thank you for translating for me Bella! You know I'm one of the challenged ones. I am happy for the Jamaicans and the Americans for dominating basketball and swimming! The U.S. Open started today....another opportunity to root for Venus and Serena!
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
August 25, 2008, 9:39 pm
Bella,I just read something very disturbing on are reporting that the police foiled an assassination attempt on Barck Obama yesterday.Three white males believed to be white supremist were arrested,and one actually tried to avoid arrest by jumping from a window.Let Us All Pray if this is true.
che says:
August 25, 2008, 9:59 pm
ground provisions is ting yes !! i live all the way behind god back in Pennsylvania and i make sure to go find my banana, yam, dasheen, and plaintain on a saturday at this hole in a wall corner store in Philly 35 miles away. i eat provosions at three times a week wit callaloo. i grow my own callaloo in the summer and freeze for the winter. that wit some saltfish, stew fish or chicken is real heaven. and i dont put on any weight eating this way. my plan is to eat this weigh throughout my pregnancy.
Beana says:
August 25, 2008, 10:09 pm
Jamaica went hard! Truly inspiring to watch!
Sabrina97 says:
August 26, 2008, 12:22 am
Speaking of the US Open... Did y'all know that there are two black men are playing?!? Their names are Blake and Young... Don't know first names, but they are going hard at each other!
Butta says:
August 26, 2008, 3:39 am
All of the Olympic medals that the Jamaican track & field team won were a wonderful victory for Jamaica and Jamaicans everywhere. Although I was born in he US, I rep my parent's homeland through and through. I'm so proud to be Jamaican right now.
Product Junkie Diva says:
August 26, 2008, 11:18 am
LOL you took me back with that red Rat
afrodisia says:
August 27, 2008, 6:44 pm
i'mma hafta use patois challenged. That's priceless. my family in jamaica has gone wild with celebration. we used to act crazy when merlene otty (am i dating myself?) was knocking down all those silver medals back in the day. my mom called me and told me about the yam and banana comment. it does, indeed, fortify the body! Big up to all our island people who continue to prove that big things often come in small packages!
caribbeanchic says:
September 1, 2008, 4:53 pm
Big up to the Caribbean fuh real! T&T real mash up de place too. And is great to see Richard Thompson still talking with his Trini accent much unlike Mr Ato Boldon who was sounding like a Fresh Water Yankee straight through his commentary. Ah was shame fuh him!
Lindel says:
December 7, 2008, 6:39 pm
Once in a life time you find a jewel, lets treat Shelly and all her team mates has such. JAMAICA TO THE WORLD......Lets Savor the moment


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