The sixth senseless

WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde (The Freeman) - January 14, 2021 - 12:00am

American Florence Griffith Joyner ran the fastest sprints by any woman in history, 10.49seconds in the 100meters and 21.34s in the 200m. More than three decades later, both records remain untouched. Her compatriot Marion Jones came close, but was caught taking illegal dose.

 Incredible, her times at both races are faster than any Filipino except Eric Cray who sprinted to a century dash gold with a personal best time of 10.25s and Trenten Anthony Beram who is the first and only Filipino to run faster than 21s for the 200m gold, both achieved by the Fil-Am runners in different editions of the regional games.

But experts are more curious than awed at her breathtaking, blinding speed. Uncanny, she suddenly ran faster in so short a time, shaving about a second from her previous personal best, equivalent to eternity in sprint supremacy. Noticeably, her voice sounded deeper, muscles bulged like they were an entity separate from her body. All indications opposed to a naturally maximized human potential.

More curiously, she suddenly retired at her peak, shortly after drug testing became mandatory. At a young age of 38, she died in her sleep and awakened insensitive speculations she paid the ultimate price for athletic immortality. Despite seeming signs of doping, athletics authorities never speculated, in public at least. The reason is simple. There is no evidence. Joyner tested negative for illegal substance in all her tests. Her stunning records stand, although virtually no one deems them clean.

The public is free to theorize about matters of public interest. Doping in sports is. Sudden death in the company of friends too, where many investigated and lawyered without passing the toughest licensure examination in the country. Just let them be, they have the right to be wrong on matters outside their knowledge and competence. No one can stop them, especially in social media, that platform for people screaming for attention.

Freedom of expression is the hallmark of a healthy democracy where the dumb, the stupid and the incompetent are empowered to have a say. But a sick democracy installed some of them to incumbency.

But not with authorities, especially those investigating a mysterious death, who should withhold provisional statements anchored on theory and instinct, especially from the bereaved family seeking the truth. Speculate, fine. That is where to start investigation like a suspecting spouse would. Not necessarily the wife. Jealousy transcends gender boundary. Insecurity obfuscates even the smartest, the prettiest and the richest.

But defer publicity while the eyes search evidence for the mouth to speak after it is found. Talk less. Probe deeper. In silence and obscurity, even anonymity. For, it is in the dead of the night when human senses sense the insensible. They hear the steps of flight, see the fading light, touch the cold neutrality of a missing piece, smell fear of the guilty and the complicit and taste the bitter discovery either of crime, accident or natural death. Then there is educated guess, the initial lead of the cerebral, for others known as speculation, the first and last instinct of the judgmental.

ERIC CRAY
Philstar
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