BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE national track and field Stadium in St. Kitts and Nevis now goes by a new name as the Government officially renamed the facility the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium.
In a ceremony to honour the sprint icon yesterday (Apr. 5), the day he celebrated his 39th birthday, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr, the Hon. Timothy Harris lauded Collins’ career which spans two decades.
“For 20 years Kim Collins has been a leader on the track and off the track. On the track he has won many races around the world. The citizens of this great nation will never forget how Kim represented this country with distinction and won the World Championship in Paris in 2003. Words cannot express our feelings on that day.”
“His victory was a victory for us all! The World Championship was bigger than a race; it was about a dream for all of us.”
The Prime Minister indicated that even to this day Collins continues to defy the odds by continuing to be one of the top athletes in the world.
He added that Collins exemplifies the talented and driven nature of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Twenty years at the top of any activity, much less a gruelling sport such as world athletics where the career span is often less than 10 years, is phenomenal.
“Kim Collins legacy will be unity. After winning the World Championship gold, Collins was welcomed home like a world champion by all of our people. Never before we saw persons from all walks of life and political persuasions come together in one accord to recognise the triumphs of our first world champion.”
Dr. Harris stated that Collins’ career should be one young athletes should strive to replicate.
“Kim Collins had a dream and he believed that dream was possible, and then put forth the work to ensure that dream would come to fruition. That is the model to success that I want all the young people in the Federation to adopt.
“Today we celebrate you and unveil the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium as an honour long overdue to a proud son of the soil.”
Speaking at the ceremony, the man of the moment, Kim Collins, thanked the Government of Taiwan for donating the facility to St. Kitts and Nevis and also the Government for bestowing the honour upon him.
“When I became World Champion, people did not understand we did not have a surface here in St. Kitts and Nevis, but that did not stop me. I say thank you to the Government and the people, not the idea of thinking about it but those who actually went out and say Kim Collins we are going to name this Stadium after you.”
Collins pointed out that he won just one medal during his time as a CARIFTA athlete, but he went on to earn bigger titles in the sport.
“I have no problem in challenging the next youngster to come and outdo what Kim Collins has done. It has been an amazing journey and I want to say to the athletes of St. Kitts and Nevis who have done well here...I won one CARIFTA medal but that did not stopped me from going on to do bigger and better things.
“I want to say to the athletes here today, not everyone will win but there is a lot more to come.”
He urged the young athletes to refrain from cheating and compete fair and in the spirit of the sport, and invited them to use the ceremony as motivation.
“I hope young athletes can see this and go out and break records. And who knows, the Stadium might be renamed again. I don't mind!”