Remarco Thompson can’t for a moment imagine life without athletics.
In fact, the 18-year-old who returned home from the CARIFTA games with his first individual medal, silver, for his performance in the boys’ octathlon after amassing 5,639 points, is determined to become a career athlete and represent Barbados at the Olympic Games.
Remarco is no stranger to the event, which consists of eight different sports. The Combermere student has already set records at the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) Games and though he did not win the coveted gold medal, he’s already mapping out a strategy to take the top prize next year.
“I went in with the mindset that I can do anything because Jesus is the one who gave me all these talents and he would never let me down. So after the first event, which was the 100m, I was leading. Then I had the long jump. My long jump wasn’t the best; I had a lot of technical problems with it so I dropped back to eighth. Some people would give up but I told myself I had six more events and it was time to step up. That resulted in me having a silver medal at the end.”
Remarco was elated because it was his first ever individual medal.
“I know the hard work that I had to put in. There is lot of other technical stuff that I could have done but next year I am going for the gold,” he confidently said.
From a very early age, Remarco was on the track under the guidance of his father who recognized he had potential.
“Coming up as a young boy, my father couldn’t keep me in the house. I was always on my feet, always running about. So from there, in my last two years of primary school, my father decided he would train me and then I made the finals for NAPSAC. Then when I came into Combermere in 2008, my coaches at school decided they would train me. And since 2008 until now I was never off a national team.”
Aside from his obvious love for athletics, Ramarco is motivated by a desire to honour the memory of a deceased uncle who strongly believed that his nephew would make it big in the sports arena.
“He always said that he would live to see me run at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, so if it is one thing that I want to do is to make that dream become reality.”
Even with his eyes on the prestigious meet, Remarco admits that being an athlete is anything but easy, but he enjoys the challenge – at least most of the time.
“To be an athlete it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sometimes a lot of compromise, because your friends may go out a lot but as an athlete you have to know you can’t party every time, you can’t drink alcohol, you can’t mix with the wrong crowd, so it takes a lot of self-control and sometimes compromises. But track and field really helped me . . . With track you have to be very disciplined.”
Remarco, who is now training for the Pan Am Games, is still beating the books, hopeful that he will soon be able to take up an athletic scholarship in the United States.
It’s an opportunity he wants to see more athletes benefiting from and he advises youngsters who love the track to keep giving their best.
“Stay out of trouble, keep your head on, never give up, If you have a dream, always believe it will come through and never, ever give up,” he advised.