Promotional image from London Olympics 2012.
Lloyd LaBeach in 1946 while at the University of Wisconsin, before his London Olympic victory.
Today we are scarcely a month away from the start of the London Olympic Games 2012 and this event, above all other Olympics, symbolizes a remarkable milestone for the Silver People of Panama. It was exactly sixty four years ago that our native son, Lloyd LaBeach, brought home two Bronze medals- the first Olympic medals ever in Panama’s history in its participation in a worldwide Olympic competition. Continue reading
Lloyd LaBeach walking with his coach and friend,
Carlos Belizaire Bussette 1951
Image thanks to Mr. Anthony McLean
A recent photo of Carlos Belizaire Bussette
Image of Panama’s greatest athletes with
the Trainer of Champions, Carlos Belizaire Bussette.
Image thanks to Oswald Baptiste
When I received word of Professor Carlos Belizaire’s death last night through an email I thought of dedicating a post to this extraordinary teacher who I happened to meet up with several times as a kid on my treks down to the Olympic stadium here in Curundu. He was an enigmatic figure to me at the time (I was just approaching adolescence) with a rather worried countenance.
But, he was often there welcoming us kids and ready to take on and mentor any promising track and field athlete. Whenever a group of us kids would arrive to see what was going on amongst the aspiring boxers, sprinters, jumpers and baseball and basketball players, he was there to meet anyone of us who yearned to compete with the best. Of course, we didn’t know we were in the presence of one of the best athletic trainers Panama would ever produce. Continue reading
Mel Patton (Gold), Barney Ewell (Silver)
and Lloyd La Beach in the 1948 Summer Olympics
Awards Ceremony for the 200(corrected) meter race competion
An early photo of the Roxy Athletic Club Track Team
That day in 1948 on the running track, the World Summer Olympics in the historic city of London were not quite over when the Panamanian, Lloyd La Beach, would, once again, offer the expectant crowd another exciting race to the finish line as the crowds stood in awe to applaud the lone Panamanian runner. Continue reading
The image is a photograph of the finish
of the Olympic 100m final in 1948.
From the left are: Emmanuel McDonald Bailey (GBR-6th);
Mel Patton (USA-5th); Alastair McCorquodale GBR-4th);
Lloyd La Beach (PAN-3rd);
Barney Ewell (USA-2nd); and Harrison Dillard (USA-1st).
The year was 1948 and the Olympic Games for which Lloyd La Beach had worked so hard for most of his young life were to be held in the month of May in London, England. Continue reading
The Great, Immortal Jesse Owens in
the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Barney Ewell (left) with teammates Mel Patton (centre)
and Harrison Dillard (right) during a practice
session before the 1948 Olympic Games in London.
For the immortal Lloyd La Beach the sight of the City of Angels was the greatest thing he had ever seen in his young life. He was yet to envision the plan that God had in store for him, however, as he humbly took his place among the other “angels” in the mission of compelling the little country of Panama to recognize her West Indian children. Even before Lloyd arrived at the campus dormitory that night he began feeling that secret and welcomed energy so natural for his young body. Continue reading
The sheer joy of competition, though the most important part of Lloyd La Beach’s drive in track and field in his early youth, would take second place to the challenges that lay ahead as a true competitor. The intricacies and demands of track and field required great study and patience and the immortal Lloyd La Beach won the admiration of his Panamanian Westindian coaches whose counsel he followed as closely as the games in Panama would have permitted him at the time. Continue reading