Forgotten champ


Former world 110m hurdles champion Ryan Brathwaite says broken promises made to him by Barbadian officials have proven to be among his greatest recent obstacles to scale.

The national champion who brought glory to Barbados nine years ago said that besides the Nissan X-trail jeep given to him having attained gold at the 2009 World Games in Berlin, Germany, he was yet to receive his ambassadorship and plot of land promised to him by the Government of Barbados in conjunction with Sir Charles Williams.

“Up to now I haven’t received the land as yet or my ambassadorship and nothing has been communicated back to me about it. The Jeep was the only thing given by the Government and Courtesy. All I am hearing is ‘Ryan did this and Ryan did that’ but a lot of stuff wasn’t even given to me,” Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY in a wide-ranging interview. 

“It really bothers me. People aren’t really upfront with certain stuff, they just smile in your face. If I am assigned as a sports ambassador, I should be playing some sort of role in the development of that sport. But I am not involved because of lack of communication and it really upsets me.

“I have worked hard for this country, I worked hard for myself and in return it’s just disrespect or rather lack of respect but yet we as athletes are expected to go out there and perform. Even with the UWI [University of the West Indies] track, Ryan Brathwaite track. A lot of stuff was not explained where that is concerned either,” he said, while charging that Barbados’ top athletes are being treated unfairly and pointed to himself as a perfect example.

Presented with the Insignia for the Silver Crown of Merit by the then Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave back in 2012, Brathwaite said as an ambassador he was unsure whether he was even entitled to Duty-Free status, something that quite a few elite athletes in Barbados have been crying out about for months including the country’s highest rank tennis player, Darian King.

“When I received my Silver Crown of Merit, nothing was explained to me, everything was just pushed at me. I am yet to understand what is my role in relation to doing certain stuff. Duty-Free concessions, I don’t even know if I have that and whenever I ask questions, they [officials] aren’t sure. You go to the Ministry of Finance and they tell you to go to the Ministry of Sports. So there is a lot of stuff that needs to be dealt with and that needs to be upfront,” Brathwaite explained, while stressing that a lot more needed to be done for the development of Barbados’ track and field.

“I think they need to have some type of programme, they need to get facilities up and running, they need persons to consult with, which they never came to me to seek advice either [as an ambassador] and I have a lot of contacts overseas.

That is why I started my own sports management business which is still in its early stage, to help the upcoming athletes, so that they in return would not be treated unfairly,” he said.

Brathwaite added: “You go out there and do what you have to do and they hop on [the bandwagon] trying to help you. But when you actually come down a bit or you are not that high up anymore in the sport and you drop a bit, they think that it is over and that is one of the biggest issues our athletes face right now. When you are on top they are all high of praises for you, when you are down it’s just about them.”

The 29-year-old said he was not about to call it quits just yet as his eyes were set on competing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo Japan before calling it a day in the sport he loves dearly.

“I am trying to get myself back out there in preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games and then retire. Just trying to get myself in a position that I could actually get my name back out there.

“I am just looking to get my times up to standard and qualify in the early and run a couple international meets like the Grand Prix. It is all about improving my times right now,” he said while concluding that, “Sometimes funds do come, but at the moment I have been funding myself in order to move forward with my preparations.”

Efforts to reach Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley were unsuccessful up to publication time.

28 Responses to Forgotten champ

  1. Larry Thompson
    Larry Thompson January 2, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    buddy you have not done nothing since i think the first set of gifts was premature you have done nothing

    • Ras Small
      Ras Small January 2, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      One hit oneder.

      • Big man January 4, 2018 at 6:33 pm

        Thee only forgotten Champion in Barbados is Suki King

        Ryan, sorry you no Usain Bolt, just a one shot, one off, flash in de pan, come gud one day guy
        Not Ambassadorial or Role Model Material
        Just keep on drinking lots of brandy in sugar nite club
        The Jeep given by the Taxpayers and Courtesy was good enough. All I am hearing is Ryan did this one off run in 2009 and since then he drinking bare Brandy and he Father got the Jeep driving about
        What more Ryan Want

    • Sonjeine Corbin
      Sonjeine Corbin January 2, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      Took the words right out my mouth,but if the government promise him, he should have gotten what was due to him!!

    • Larry Thompson
      Larry Thompson January 2, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      yes he did something drink lots of brandy in sugar nite club

    • Matthew Jordan
      Matthew Jordan January 2, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      I don’t think that is a fair statement but I understand what you’re saying.

    • Skilnic Skyy
      Skilnic Skyy January 2, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      That was a fluke, plus the top dog was absent

  2. Sheron Inniss January 2, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Young man I would like to suggest to you that you continue to pursue your dream. Whether accolades come or not it is your dream. You do what you have to do and I believe doors will open for you if it is meant to be.

    The world owes you nothing. It is all up to you.

    • jennifer January 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Simple – Or he can join the promise line bout hey.

  3. Matthew Jordan
    Matthew Jordan January 2, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    I understand completely what he is saying. At the time, he did an amazing thing and we were all very proud Barbadians. The things that were promised to him should have been presented to him in a timely fashion. He is well within his right to voice his concerns and displeasure with how he was treated. Whether we believe what he did was a one hit wonder or whatever the case is, he made Barbados and Barbadians proud!

    However, the negligence of the Government and private sector in fulfilling their gifts should not bear factor on his progress as an athlete. His focus needs or needed to be on his craft. Since winning that gold medal his career has been on a decline. I can understand injury being a major factor but he seems to have been left behind by his competitors. Sad, cause he was an up and coming star.

    All the best Ryan.

    • Nico HL Beckles
      Nico HL Beckles January 2, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      best comment on here, people just love being petty fools but don’t see what he’s actually saying especially about duty free concessions for the elite athletes. Imagine you have people representing your country at the highest level with very little funding from said country but they struggle to get their sponsored gear into them to represent the same country in because this useless government refuses to waive duties on them but Sandals can waltz through customs

  4. fedup January 2, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Lashley!! Answer d phone!

  5. Wayne Waithe
    Wayne Waithe January 2, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    That is so true a forgotten champion

  6. fedup January 2, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    …but duh giving out OBE’s etc tuh people dat most uh we never hear bout.

  7. gsmiley January 2, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    The young man is perfectly correct. And whether he drank brandy rum or guiness promises were made to him which were not fulfilled. That’s the point. No need to get personal with the guy.
    When he was up they were all over the gentleman.

    Bajans as a first step do what you guys usually do. Pull down.

    Thats the type of mentality that we have. A real shame really.

    He belongs to us

    Most bajans like Larry Sonjeine and Ras who haven’t achieved
    anything are the first to insult.

    It may be jealousy though.

  8. Pamalea Payne
    Pamalea Payne January 2, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    U does be watching the man very close to know what he does be drinking

    • gsmiley January 3, 2018 at 6:13 pm

      learn to read. i was responding to the joker larry

  9. Aaliyah Smith
    Aaliyah Smith January 2, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Chanda Mwansa

  10. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed January 2, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    The xtrail was to inspire you to bring home an Olympic medal which you didn’t…..we thank you for the world medal still…..a jeep & the 3rd highest honour aint to bad…however if they promise you then they should keep their words……I think you get promise to much buy hey that’s me

  11. David M. Ross January 2, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    How many 8m jumps did Bobby Beamon jump. How many gold medals did he win. There is nothing such as a one hit wonder world champion. This is our only World Champion. Respect please.

  12. Latifah January 2, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Why does Government have to give athletes or others gifts in return for them pursuing their dreams? How many gifts can they give? How many plots of land can they dish out? In order to be eligible for these lavish and in some cases numerous gifts, one should be consistently achieving at a high level. That is what happens in education. In order to achieve your degree or first in class if you like, one must consistently produce the level of work that results in that achievement. Now, dont get me wrong. If a promise was made, it should be kept. HOWEVER, we have only heard one side of the story. As a people, we need to be more cautious before jumping onto one side or another without all the facts. Last point, I had an experience with a certain Ministry with regards to an award, I realised that the people I was dealing with are incompetent and so I had to keep calling in order to figure out what to do, where to go, who to speak with etc etc. So government on the whole may not be negligent in fulfilling promise but the staff who are to follow up to make it happen are possibly simply incapable of doing their job well.

  13. Sam January 2, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    I can’t believe some of the comments I’ve just read. Do you think that Ryan got up one morning and decided to run and actually won that event. It took years of dedication, devotion and expense. The fact is that he is a world champion and that will never change. Give him his due. He beat the best the world had to offer at the time.
    I am ashamed of my people at this point in time.
    Do whatever you have to do son to ensure that this does not happen to out future athletes.

  14. DE January 3, 2018 at 3:01 am

    @ Larry Thompson, Skilnic Skyy, Tell me one thing any one of you all did to make to make this country proud. Did any of you all boss ever promise any one of you an incentive and you never received it. Be more reasonable my friends, it is not whether he has not anything since, it is what he has done and if he was promise rewards for his achievement at that time, then in all fairness he should have his rewards. But then again, the government have the whole country on a lot of promises, so Ryan I guest you would have to wait like the thousands of people in the country.

  15. Darrin Morgan January 3, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Ryan Brathwaite, where do I begin. I have been, completely brushed aside, as an Athlete and Entertainer in this Island. All my life! I have, to tell myself, that maybe; I’m too much for people to take. You think, YOU, have suffered. Everything, I have done, has been swept under the Carpet and forgotten about! I’ve heard about, The Ryan Brathwaite Track. The last I heard, it was being called The Usain Bolt Track! I don’t even know, how to complain, it seems as though; no one, has no gratitude for the name Darrin Morgan whatsoever! Even your precious Rihanna, has never acknowledged me, as her main Songwriter. As recent as yesterday, some one very dare to me, expressed difficulty remembering my name! This World, it seems, will always stem from the Devil! For those of you, who are still puzzuled, as to who I am. I challenge you to check! I do enjoy entertaining. But having received “insignificant” and downright “insufficient” praise for my efforts… I’m afraid, I’ll have to retire. Do forgive me, if I feel unappreciated. Enough is enough!

    • jennifer January 4, 2018 at 9:46 pm

      “This World, it seems, will always stem from the Devil! – Well observed.

  16. Darkus 43 January 3, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Boy oh boy …bajans you just got to love them they too love to pull down they own , i wonder how those that talking bout Ryan does not deserve to be rewarded would feel if they went above and beyond just once on they job and was promised a raise but never got it would feel ….the man deserves his dues as promised but like some one said only half the story has been heard .

  17. 200m January 3, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    As a former athlete I totally understand where he’s coming from. It’s very hard. And being in Barbados makes it’s harder. People don’t understand what you have to do or how hard it is. They claim to understand but they really don’t because if they did, they wouldn’t make stupid comments. If he was promised too much is not the point. Anybody wants what they’ve worked hard for. One medal or not is more than most, so he should be given what was promised to him because he worked hard for it. Yes he fell off due to injury and I’m sure other factors. Among those factors lack of support is pretty high on the list, I’m sure. That’s all he’s saying. More support is needed in order for the athletes to be as successful as we all want them to be.

  18. The Negrocrat January 3, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Some of these comments are just stupid.


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