It will become the scene of both her most fulfilling and horrific experiences, but for the Olympian, it was the moment that defined her for the rest of her life. “That one was the pinnacle, because once you are an Olympian, you will always be an Olympian. That is something no one can ever take away from you. I was proud to represent my country,” said Sharpe during a recent chat with The Gleaner. A great accomplishment for a bright-eyed 16 year-old; still, the Munich Olympics, which were ironically marketed as ‘The Happy Games’, will be mostly remembered for the killing of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by a group of Palestinian terrorists who had taken them hostage. Sharpe reminisced on the scenes in the Athletes Village and how that incident not only changed the mood of the Games, but also her own perspective. “I remember probably more than I want to remember from it. We could see the terrorist standing outside on the balcony with his gun because of the way the village was set out,” she shared. “The mood of the Games changed. The last time it was held in Germany, it was held in Berlin, and the whole thing with Jesse Owens and (Adolf) Hitler, and so Germany was going out of their way to try and make this a comfortable, friendly games, and that’s how we felt about it.” The extra security detail and the jubilant reactions to the false news that the hostages had been freed are all still fresh in her mind. “I was going through the line at breakfast and I had a smile on my face and the lady that was serving me breakfast she said ‘You don’t know do you? Nobody knows.’ “And I said, ‘Know what?’ And she said, ‘They were all killed.” What didn’t die for Sharpe, is the resolve that she developed from that experience. “Its not something that I usually tell people. I don’t believe in tooting my own horn from that point of view. There is something inside of me that no one can take away from me; I know what my accomplishments are, I just feel like I can hold myself up so high from the experience of being an Olympian, and I always have that self confidence and that’s what reaching that level of sports gives you – you know who you are,” she beamed. This summer, she will have company in the chronicles of Jamaican diving history with Yona Knight-Wisdom set to carve his name beside hers as Jamaican diving Olympian after his qualification to the Rio Olympic Games. MUNICH 1972 In 1966, a Gleaner article declared: “Jamaicans are naturally athletic and agile people, and we could produce divers of world class if more attention was paid to this aspect of swimming.” This bold proclamation was made just after 10 year-old Betsy Sullivan had represented Jamaica in 3m diving competition at the 1966 Commonwealth Games held in Kingston. ” … at that age you kind of know no fear. Whatever is there to do you just do it. Life is just for living at that age, you’re enjoying yourself and having a great time, totally oblivious to the fact I had qualified to a games at age 10 and the magnitude of what that meant. I was just an average 10 year-old playing with my friends, having a good time,” she remembered. “I wasn’t there to win, I didn’t have any expectations at that age, it was just a good experience and I really enjoyed it.” Six years down the road, the then – teenager, Sullivan – now Betsy Sharpe, became the first Jamaican to qualify for the Olympics in the diving event.
ANA Brings Innovation to Kyushu Saga International AirportANA Brings Innovation to Kyushu Saga International Airport All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest and 5-star airline for six consecutive years, is partnering with Saga prefecture to transform Kyushu Saga International Airport (hereinafter referred to as Saga Airport) into one of the world’s smartest, best-connected airports. The move will make Saga Airport a proving ground for the latest connected technologies, turning it into a hotbed of innovation and a premier logistics hub in the region.Saga Prefecture and ANA will collaborate to modernize Saga Airport in response to changes across the aviation industry. The modernization drive aims to make Saga Airport a model airport that serves as a platform to showcase labor-saving technological innovation on the world stage. As a prominent testing ground, Saga Airport will collect data on the effectiveness of new technology featured at the site, acting as a template for future “Simple & Smart” airports.“We seek to innovate and reimagine how the travel experience can be improved by harnessing the potential of technological innovation,” said Shinzo Shimizu, Senior Executive Vice President of ANA. “The on-the-ground tests that ANA will be conducting at Saga Airport will lead to important breakthroughs that streamline and improve service on the ground. This will allow us to complement our exceptional in-flight service with a similar level of logistical support.”“We aim to set the standard for modernization at Kyushu Saga International Airport through our partnership with ANA,” said Yoshinori Yamaguchi, Governor of Saga Prefecture. “Saga has a history of innovation, serving as the base of Japan’s industrial revolution, and has leveraged its creativity to build a strong legacy of global leadership in manufacturing. I hope to continue building on these achievements and making Saga a transmission point for the fourth industrial revolution: AI and IoT.”New technology to be featured in the first round of trials at Saga Airport includes a wearable robotic exoskeleton, remote-controlled aircraft pushbacks, automatic baggage loaders and automated towing tractors. The robotic exoskeletons for heavy duty loaders entered service in February, while the first autonomous towing tractors are set to roll out between late March and early April. The latest pushbacks will start the trial in mid-April, with the automated baggage loaders being the last of the first batch to undergo testing sometime in the FY 2019.Officials at Saga Airport and ANA will monitor the performance of these devices closely, using the data gained from these trials to improve efficiency across the airport. This information will also be instrumental in the implementation of other innovations at Saga Airport in the future. Source = All Nippon Airways