Saturday, 19 December 2015

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: G.C. Foster revealed + Beverly East honoured + Usain Bolt reflects and looks ahead

> Sprinter Usain Bolt plots a big return to London 
As the well-deserved end-of-year accolades continue to pour in (in recognition of his superb 2015 season on the track) Usain Bolt is putting together his 2016 itinerary. Earlier this week, the World’s Fastest Man announced that fans in London, one of his favourite cities, will get to see him in action again before he retires, as he’s signed up to participate in the London Diamond League meet, July 22-23, a crucial warm-up stop on the road to the Rio Olympics in Brazil, scheduled for August 5-21. Bolt, considered the frontrunner for Sportsman of the Year at the Jan. 15 RJR Sports Foundation Awards, recently won the Scotiabank-sponsored Golden Cleats Award for Male Athlete of the Year. “For me, it feels great and it makes me want to work even harder. What makes this win special for me is that it was a tough, trying season with lots of ups and downs,” admits the 29-year-old speedster, who bagged three gold medals at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, this past summer. “This one means a lot more because I put in a lot of hard work to get back where I needed to be, so I could win this award.” 

> Author Bev East honoured by Washington society 
Many of us first got to know Beverly East as the lavishly talented author behind splendid books like Reaper of Souls, which offers a fictionalized account of the infamous Kendal crash. But by day East (pictured here with Prof. Stephen Vasciannie), who is currently based in the States, is a highly respected graphologist (handwriting expert), court document examiner and authority on legal matters. Solid proof of the high regard in which she’s held came recently when East was honoured with the 2015 Caribbean American Heritage Award during a ceremony at Washington’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. Past recipients of the prestigious award, which highlights significant input by Caribbean Americans to the building of American society, include Cicely Tyson, Marcia Griffiths, Diane Abbott and Susan L. Taylor. So what’s next for the superbusy Miss East? “I am working on book number four,” she reveals. “However, my second book has been optioned for a movie, so I’m hoping to get that sorted out for next year.” 

> A new book sheds light on the real G.C. Foster 
Fun fact: How many of you knew that the initials G.C. (as in G.C. Foster) stand for Gerald Claude Eugene? Or that the legendary Jamaican, after whom Spanish Town’s physical education college is named, not only excelled in track-and-field in the early 1900s but fulfilled roles as coach, schoolboy football organizer and physiotherapist at the British Empire and the 1948 Olympic Games? These are just a few of the intriguing facts candidly reported by Foster’s grand-daughter Diane Shaw in her new must-read Remembering G. C. Foster, recently launched at Kingston’s Football Factory. Shaw, who spent time interviewing icons like Glen Mills and Freddie Gray for the book, says the research was equal parts nostalgia, uncovering new family history and learning about the man we revere today but know so very little about. “Most of the people I interviewed just loved him because he was such a positive influence. He had a passion for excellence, and he was a very endearing man. He also had a great sense of humour,” says Shaw, who worked with editor Arnold Bertram on the publication. “I knew him well but I discovered new things in researching the book.” Copies of Remembering G.C. Foster are on sale at the Oliver Road-based Football Factory.

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