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Grenada’s James provides Olympics with feel-good story

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Some events are worth repeating in print shortly after the story originally appears, moments that highlight the best of the human spirit.

Give props to Grenada’s Kirani James, the 400-meter gold medalist, for another feel-good story at the London Games.

Seeing China, the United States and Great Britain combine for 86 gold medals through Tuesday has been impressive. Seeing James give his tiny Caribbean country (population: 104,000) a triumph on the world stage on Monday was a wonderful thing.

The 19-year-old delivered a national holiday to his island nation, its prime minister declared.

How many of us can say we’ve done that?

“This is a fantastic achievement,” Richard Simon, press secretary for Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas told Yahoo Sports. “This has basically given Grenada a sense of presence in the international community that we didn’t have before in the context of world athletics.”

James was clocked in 43.94 seconds in the final. He made a friend for life during the 400 heats by exchanging bibs (the name and number attached to his shirt) with South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee known as “Blade Runner” who reached the 400 semifinals on Sunday. It was a truly classy gesture.

For James, the exchange was spontaneous and will give Pistorious immense pride in the years to come, regardless of what he accomplishes on the track.

Reserve a spot in the Good Guy Club for James. His fan club now extends far beyond Grenada.