Vendors waiting to ride Olympics train
If recent history can be used as a guide for future behaviour, Jamaicans should brace for an abundance of nationally themed merchandise being offered for sale over the next week as the country's track athletes go for glory in Rio.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the place that the 31st Olympiad is being held, promises to serve up great moments for the country over the next week.
Jamaica will win 11 medals in Olympic track and field competition. That's the number contained in the final pre-Olympic set of predictions by the respected US publication Track and Field News.
The predictions anticipate another Olympic sprint double for Usain Bolt and a gold medal for Elaine Thompson in the women's 100m.
In years gone by, it was common place to see Jamaican-branded merchandise such as flags and jerseys on sale in many town centres across the country. However, when THE WEEKEND STAR ventured into downtown Kingston yesterday, back-to-school appeared to have taken pride of place over the Olympics. The sale of flags, caps, T-shirts, and hand kerchief were not in abundance in the country's capital city.
"See di back-to-school ting have a lot fi deal wid it cause dat [Olympics] last fi two weeks and back-to-school can carry yuh guh inna September," Anthony Patterson told THE WEEKEND STAR.
"Me really lef out this morning and a say a whol heap a headband suppose to a shub out fi tru, but me naah see dem thing deh," Patterson said.
He noted that the sale of Jamaican-branded merchandise appeared minimal leading up to and during th country's 54th Independence last Saturday.
"Me did think people did a rest the Independence and a focus pon the Olympics," he said.
Veronica Sweaton, another vendor, agreed with Patterson, but said the selling of Jamaican products will coincide with Jamaica's medal hunt in track and field.
"A nuh seh we nuh have it fi sell, but we nuh have nuh money fi buy it, and who have a ready a guh use weh them have. When di race dem start tomorrow yuh a guh see dem a sell nuff," Sweaton said.
However, Marcia British disagreed with Patterson's reasoning.
"It [Olympics] always keep when a back-to-school time suh dat [back-to-school] nuh have nothing fi duh wid it. When di race dem run tomorrow yuh a guh see armbands, flag, banner, and everything," Marcia said while showing off her scarf and flags.
Marcia went on further to explain that it is the tradition of Jamaican vendors to ply their wares on the day of the races not on the eve or days prior to the races.
"When di race dem a run and everybody a seh Jamaica...A deh suh yuh a guh see dem a sell," Marcia told THE WEEKEND STAR.