Jan 03, 2017 Sports
”Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact, it’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration, it’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali.
Amy Grant has been living the words of her idol – The Great Muhammad Ali – by making the impossible possible. Grant, who turned 15 two weeks ago started 2016 the same way she finished 2015 at the Trinidad and Tobago Swimming Championships (ASATT).
The multi talented Grant, who recently gained a distinction in playing the piano and is also a budding singer, left Guyana as well as could be expected in December 2015 but a few hours later in Trinidad she had to visit the emergency department At West Shore Medical Private Hospital due to red and swollen eyes. Antibiotics were prescribed to ease the problem and enabled her to enter the water.
Grant’s first competition for 2016 was supposed to have been the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) Republic Meet in February but she was forced to miss it due to illness and she had to wait for the Independence Meet in May which was the National Long Course Meet which also marked the end of the Long Course season.
Grant’s fitness was not the best and she had to scratch a few events due to a viral infection. The young athlete who has a never say die character entered the 2016 Olympic Day Sprint Triathlon in July and successfully defended her championship title in the female category.
Her participation was as a result of her ability to battle and a desire to claim the champion title as a repeat of 2015. She defied the odds to realise her dream.
As the year progressed, Grant was to face yet another illness in September just after qualifying for the Schools National Swimming Championship. She was told that she can run but to take care not to stress herself and there was to be no swimming until approval was given by her doctor.
Grant who is not a club runner, ran the 800m at her Inter Schools Championship then went on to win at Zones and at the Champion of Champions where she cemented a spot at the National Stadium for the 2016 National Schools Athletic Championships and came out 5th in the Finals.
Grant’s challenging times followed her and antibiotics were used weeks leading up to the 2016 National Schools Swimming Championships which she entered with a very weakened body but with a strong mind and desire to succeed.
Grant was victorious as she swam away with the Girls Under-16 National Schools Swimming Champion title which she had lost in 2015. Despite all the complexities and limitations Grant faced all year, her coach believed she had the ability to take on other swimmers at ASATT 2016 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Her focus then was to build endurance for the competition since she could not taper due to all the adversities faced over the previous eighteen months. Her never say die attitude saw her landing the Gold medal in the 13-14 Girls 1500m freestyle and a 5th place ribbon in the 800m freestyle whilst also setting National records in both events.
She did not medal in the other events she entered but she did personal best times. Grant swam unattached in Trinidad after representing Silver Sharks Swim Club for the past five years. Nothing is set in stone because where there is a will there is a way. Amy Grant’s New Year’s resolution is that she would like to stay fit and healthy.
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By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
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