Tag: Drumeco Archer

Bio of Davis on fast track with well-known author, major publisher

The Nassau Guardian

 In this file photo, Bahamian “Golden Girl” Pauline Davis-Thompson was honored on, being named an Honorary Life Person Member of the IAAF. She will receive a plaque of merit and veteran pin awards. She is shown above with BAAA President Drumeco Archer at left. LAURA PRATT-CHARLTON

Pauline Davis, the Bahamian icon who once conquered the sprinting world, is about to get her own book with a major US publisher.

This country’s original “Golden Girl” signed a book deal with US publisher Rowman & Littlefield earlier this week, a move that will bring her remarkable story of resilience, determination and Olympic glory to the world.

Dramatic and unflinching, Davis’ upcoming memoir, titled, ‘The Girl Who Ran Sideways: The Story of an Olympic Champion’, will be co-written with noted Canadian author T.R. Todd, who recently penned the award-winning book ‘Pigs of Paradise: The True Story of the World Famous Swimming Pigs’.

Raised on Fleming Street, in Bain Town, Davis would defy the odds to not only become a double gold medalist, but the first woman from the Caribbean to take home the ultimate Olympic prize in athletics. It tells the story of a girl who was plucked from obscurity to become one of the most decorated female sprinters of her generation, and the first woman of color to join the World Athletics Council, the international governing body of track and field (formerly known at the International Association of Athletic Federations – IAAF).

“It is with absolute excitement that I can announce the upcoming publication of my book,” said Davis, who won her two gold medals at the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000 – and a silver medal in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996.

“At the end of the day, I am a product of Bain Town in Nassau. I was never meant to make it this far. From The Bahamas to the world, I hope my story inspires Bahamians and people from all walks of life to reach for their potential and never give up.”

With an expected release date in early 2022, The Girl Who Ran Sideways describes in raw detail Davis’ upbringing in Bain Town, without power or electricity. Every day, she carried the family’s buckets to the government tap to fetch fresh water. It was there she learned to run sideways, sprinting barefoot from bullies – it was the only way to get the buckets of water home, without spilling.

Neville Wisdom, a seasoned track coach with the Bain Town Flyers Track Club, couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw this poor little girl, barefoot, sprinting down the track sideways on a grainy video tape recording, but he also saw something else. He saw the heart of a champion.

“Pauline’s story is truly stranger than fiction,” Todd explains, Davis’ ghost writer and a former Business Editor of The Nassau Guardian.

“While we’ve known each other for years, it was only recently we finally came together and decided to write this book. Every aspect of her life is incredible and defies expectation. I hope this book is something the entire Bahamas can be proud of, but beyond that, it’s an opportunity for the whole world to know The Bahamas on a more intimate level, through the eyes of the original Golden Girl. In these challenging times, this is a story of perseverance that we all need,” said Todd.

Davis, who competed in five Olympic Games, first burst onto the international track and field scene in 1982 with her historic run at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Track and Field Championships in Barbados, capturing four gold medals in the 100 meters (m), 200m, 400m and long jump. Later, in 1984, she forever endeared herself to the Bahamian public with her legendary performance at the 1984 CARIFTA Games in Nassau, Bahamas.

Despite a serious hamstring injury just months before, Davis won the 100 and 200m. Then, as the anchor of the 4x400m relay team, she flew around the track in dramatic fashion to secure the gold and defeat the Jamaicans in the CARIFTA Games, en route to winning the Austin Sealy Award for Most Outstanding Athlete at the meet.

It would only be the beginning of a decorated track and field career spanning 20 years, ending on September 30, 2000, when the “Golden Girls” – Eldece Clarke, Debbie Ferguson, Chandra Sturrup, Savatheda Fynes and Davis – defeated the world, including a Marion Jones-led US team, to win the women’s 4x100m relay, bringing home the country’s first gold medal in athletics at the Olympics.

“I could not have accomplished what I did without my Golden Girl sisters,” Davis said. “While we did not always agree, they pushed me and together we made history. So, I want to share this book with them. This story needs to be told.”

It was an historic year of firsts for The Bahamas. In that same Olympics, Davis would also win the silver in the 200m, which would later be upgraded to the gold after Jones was stripped of her medals for doping. Years later, she would make history again as the first woman of color to be elected to the World Athletics Council.

While inspiring and exhilarating, The Girl Who Ran Sideways is also a candid portrait of Davis’ personal struggles to become the best in the world.

Whether it was the separation of her parents, the racism she experienced at the University of Alabama, her two lifetime suspensions (both rescinded) from Bahamian athletics, or the classism and political victimization she endured along the way, Davis’ path to success was littered with hardship.

“In this book, I want to speak truth to power,” Davis said. “There were many things that happened to me in my life. I’ve experienced my fair share of tragedy and struggles. When people read this book, I hope what they take away from it is that success is not an accident. It takes work – hard work – and perseverance to reach your dreams.”

In these difficult times, The Girl Who Ran Sideways reminds us that it doesn’t matter how you start off in life – it’s how you finish.

BAAA eyes end of July for nationals

Drumeco Archer.

June 17, 2020

The Nassau Guardian


This coming weekend was set to be a busy one for the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) as youth, junior and senior athletes were scheduled to be in action at their respective nationals. The events were set to get underway today at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

Instead, the nationals have been pushed back to the end of July, running over into August because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is provided that the government of The Bahamas approves sporting activities in its latest Emergency Powers orders.

BAAA President Drumeco Archer said it is expected to be a watered-down national championships due to the numerous challenges they face and the restrictions in place due to the pandemic.

“We are still hopeful that we can stage the event, even if it is a watered-down national championships, so that we could have some sort of culmination of our track and field program. It is hard to call it a national championships because I do not think we will have full representation. It is hard to call someone a national champion when you do not have everyone present,” said Archer.

The meet was set to be a qualifier for the 2020 Summer Olympics which has been postponed to the summer of 2021.

Under the current plan, juniors and seniors will be in action at the nationals starting on July 30. On Friday, August 1, the youth will hit the track. Archer said the competition level is still expected to be high.

“The success of any track and field competition is preparation and with a three-month furlough, it is difficult to see where we are in our program. There are many athletes who abbreviated their training. That applies to many of our junior and senior athletes. We are now trying to encourage them over the short weeks of the summer to sort of get in some level of fitness, but training happens in cycles. That is one of our challenges,” said Archer.

Archer said that the younger athletes will utilize the meet as more of a summer activity.

“Training has not only been a problem for the junior athletes but the senior and elite athletes who train locally as well. They have found a way to put in their training as best as they can at the senior level, but I cannot say the same for our junior program,” Archer said.

According to Archer, the meet is open to everyone as the borders will be opened for international travel on July 1 and athletes are welcomed to come home for the nationals.

“I speak to the coaches on a regular basis to find out what their athletes are doing and where they are,” said Archer. “There are many coaches who would have said that many of their athletes have shut down their seasons. On the other hand, there are a number of coaches who have maintained practice with the athletes who have been interested in getting meets in. All is not lost and we want to continue to encourage people to maintain fitness, but we are also mindful that within the summer period, there is a normal break period.”

It is a very tough time economically as corporate Bahamas, the government, and individuals practice austerity measures during these times of uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What I would like to see is individuals who are in a financial position to make a donation,” Archer said. “Our focus will now be turned to attracting individuals to provide smaller level of sponsorship to the federation. I think it is pretty remote to consider larger companies. There have been massive layoffs. There are companies who have not reopened for business as yet to presume that they are in a position to provide funding for an extra-curricular program.”

World Athletics, the governing body of track and field in the world, recommended a national championships window of August 6 to 8.

In her national budget communication last week, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle mentioned that her ministry has prepared a list of COVID-19 guidelines that were set to outline how sports activities are to be conducted whenever they are allowed to resume.

Track And Field Nationals In Limbo

As of Wednesday, June 10, 2020


#Senior Sports Reporter


#EVEN with the economy starting to get back to normalcy in the wake of COVID-19, Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations’ President Drumeco Archer is still not sure whether or not their National Track and Field Championships will take place.

#The BAAA nationals are scheduled for the weekend of July 31 to August 1 at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium, but Archer said they are still in limbo because of the uncertainty of how many athletes will be prepared to compete once the Bahamas government allows large gatherings at sporting activities.

#“We know we have a large number of athletes who are training and we have a large number of athletes who are not training,” Archer said.

#“But we also know that many of the athletes have not had access to training facilities since the country was locked down.”

#At their next executive meeting, Archer said they will have a practical decision on the feasibility of putting on the nationals, which would include the junior and senior athletes, or they decide on putting on an All-Comers Meet where athletes can come out and compete in a less marketed meet.

#“We may not get the desired effect that we would get from a highly publicised nationals, but at least we can still provide an avenue for the athletes to come out and participate in a less pressured meet,” Archer pointed out.

#Apart from the World Athletics’ limited Diamond meets designed for the elite athletes around the world to compete in later this year, there are plans for the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) to host a regional meet here in the Bahamas, but no date has been confirmed.

#“Our nationals were set to accommodate our athletes before they return to school and we wanted to give them an opportunity to compete if it is possible for them,” Archer said.

#“All of these assumptions have us in limbo because of the uncertainty of the coronavirus that we still can’t get a handle of. So we’re still not sure what will happen until the economy is fully opened and things are back to some sense of normalcy in what will be a new norm with the social distancing and wearing of masks in large gatherings.”

#While there are a number of Bahamian athletes, who either attend high school, college and university or are training there in some of the professional clubs, Archer said the social unrest with the protests that are currently underway, may as well as it may not have any effect on the movement of Bahamian athletes to and from the United States.

#“I look at it as two separate incidents. The US has its share of protests going on with its racial challenges, but we had a number of athletes who were performing well before the closure of our borders,” Archer said.

#“The problem is when you try to market them into the schools, you can’t tell that they were running 10.1 and now because of what we have been experiencing with the curfews and shutdowns that they are now running 10.7.

#“So I think that has limited the marketing ability of our athletes, more than the social unrest because in my view, the schools’ structure is designed so that they can accommodate the student athletes based on crises such as this,” Archer added.

#The other issue, which could hinder their progress, is the US Immigration policy where the athletes could be denied student visas if the US is concerned about limiting the amount of persons they would allow into the country as a result of the spread of the coronavirus.

#“If you say COVID-19 is having an impact on the students’ resources because of financial displacements, then it’s totally different from the social unrest,” Archer pointed out. “So I think there are some more pointed issues over the social unrest that we are now consumed about.”

#In the meantime, Archer said the BAAA will be willing to assist in any way that they can to help facilitate the process of getting more student-athletes into schools in the United States to further their education and at the same time develop their athletic prowess, which in turn will be more beneficial to the growth and development of the Bahamas’ national track and field programme.