Dispatch from China

Track and field athlete Ronald Forbes ’08 has shared his first impressions of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China in an e-mail to Editorial Services writer Grant Smith.

Forbes, who graduated with a business degree in May after earning All-American honors in the 110-meter hurdles, competed in Beijing for his native Cayman Islands. He was eliminated in the fourth heat of the second round on Aug. 19.

Below are excerpts from his communication:

“As far as the opening ceremony goes, it is one of the greatest honors an athlete can have, carrying the flag of their country. Many great ones come and go, but some will never get that opportunity to do such a thing. The fact that I got that honor is something that I will carry for the rest of my life. [I] can look back one day and say with pride, ‘I did that.’

“I’ve been to many major game openings before but none compares to this. The Chinese took the cake and the baker with this one. When you take your first look at the stadium, you can feel the grand effort and dedication that it took to build it running through you. Though there were many negative rumors about what to expect when you get here, I’ve found none of them to be true so far. The sound of the crowd as each country’s name was called out was deafening. To put it in a nut shell, [I thought] it was flawless. To me, even if you had never gotten a minute of TV airtime in your life, you felt like a celebrity that night.

“I hope that many young and up-and-coming [athletes] from around the world, my country and FIU who watched the openings realize that it could be them next. You just have to believe that you are there before you even make it. ‘One world, One dream.’”

On Aug. 17, Forbes competed in the first round of the 110-meter hurdles. Running the race in 13.59 seconds, he placed fifth in his heat, set a Cayman Island national record and qualified for the next round. Not too shabby for any first-time Olympian.

Up next

Jamaica’s Sheri-Ann Brooks, another former FIU track star, is set to represent Jamaica as a member of its 4×100-meter relay team. Brook’s race, the preliminary 4×100-meter relay, will air on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 8:55 a.m. EST.

— Grant Smith
     Editorial Services

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