CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON: Mills, with his 'sons' Blake and Bolt.
A few days after watching – like a proud dad – as his Racers Track Club boys Usain Gold, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir sprinted into sporting history with a sensational gold-silver-bronze finish in the 200M final at the London Olympic Games, Glen Mills is marking another incredible milestone in his life: the occasion of his 63rd birthday. August 14th is Mills’ special day. “Happy birthday to the greatest coach ever, Mr. Glen Mills aka GM,” Bolt tweeted Tuesday morning. Blake responded with “Happy birthday, Mr. Mills… coach, teacher and hero to us all!”
Born Glen Lebert Livingston Mills, the man is really something of a hero, isn’t he? True, he boasts an impeccable track record of coaxing superb results out of his athletes and he’s been described as everything in the book from “track-and-field stalwart” to a “cornerstone in Jamaica’s athletic development”. But what does it truly say when two of the four fastest men in the history of the human race rose to that achievement, that level of prominence, under your watch, your tutelage?
Well, it’s possibly the most treasured accomplishment one could stake claim to when one is well into one’s sixth decade on the planet. In the space of less than 10 years, Coach Mills has moulded Bolt into a record-shattering sprinting legend AND transformed Blake into a ferocious beast of a runner with an awfully bright future. That is the stuff of heroism – regardless of your definition of the word – and, to my mind, is deserving of (at the very least) an O.D. upgrade from Officer Class to Commander.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Glen Mills' O.D. was in fact upgraded to the rank of Commander in 2008, in the wake of the Beijing Olympics. Mills for the Order of Jamaica? Why not.