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Aug 11, 2014

Reflections of an Icon…

Ernest "JawMeighan" Meighan

The heinous murder of Ernest ‘Jaw-Meighan’ Meighan during one of the bloodiest weekends in recent history has sent shockwaves across the sporting community.  Jaw-Meighan is to cycling what Pulu Lightburn is to basketball and what Leopold Smart is to boxing; a revered figure in the pantheon of Belizean athletes.  This morning, friends and family of the slain athlete took to the airwaves with outpours of condolences.  We managed to speak with several of his colleagues who fondly remembered his triumphs, as well as his trials on the circuit.

 

Alan Auil, Cycling Enthusiast/Friend of Ernest Meighan

“I’ve known him for twenty-five years now.  I got into the sport in 1989, he started the year before I did even though he’s about five years younger than I am.  He started in ‘88 with a very good friend of mine, Roque Matus and I’ve known him ever since.  He’s always been very jovial, always playing around, even in the biggest of races he would be, you know, giving jokes and making fun even when he was serious and know he wants to win a race.  But only good memories come to mind when I think about Ernest Meighan.”

 

Andrew Ordonez

Andrew Ordonez, Cycling Enthusiast/Friend of Ernest Meighan

“In 1997 when he won his Cross Country, he came to me three o’clock in the morning.  He said to me, “Andrew, my bike is giving trouble with its wheel.”  I said, “Bring it JawMeighan, no problem.  I’ll take care of it.”  And he went on to win the Cross Country.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“What was that feeling like knowing that you had a hand in being able to prepare him for that victory?”

 

Andrew Ordonez

“It’s hard to explain, I mean, it’s joy because he did mention that I did help him to win the race.”

 

Alan Auil

Alan Auil

“In 2001, JawMeighan won his second Cross Country.  I am listed officially in the record books for that race as the last place finisher but I only finished one single lap behind JawMeighan and the reason why was JawMeighan was on the track when the main bunch came in and we were about a lap behind him.  About actually three-quarters of a lap behind him and as we were going around the stadium and we had to do two laps, I looked across the lap and I kept watching JawMeighan and he was with Bobby Lee.  You know, Bobby Lee, of course, that’s a name that’s well known among cyclists who use to come and compete in the biggest races.  And in previous years there was a close finish with [Collet] ‘Bunas’ [Maheia] one year, there was a close finish with [Orlando] Chavarria.  Chavarria had won the Cross Country recently and it was, you know, a close finish and in my mind I was a fan of JawMeighan and I was a fan of Belize and I wanted to see the finish.  So when the bunch got to the finish line, I actually, although I was still in the bunch just three-quarters of a lap from first place and still in position for a top ten, I pulled my brakes, got off my bicycle and stood up right at the finish line to see the sprint, I wanted to get a bird’s eye view of the sprint in case it would be a close finish and I wanted to make sure nobody is going to thief JawMeighan this race if it’s close.  Of course, it turned out not to be close.  JawMeighan won the sprint easily.”

 

Santiago Castillo Jr.

Santiago Castillo Jr., Team Owner/ Friend

“It was after he had won 1997 with the BelChi Cycling Team, of course, my eyes were on JawMeighan way before that, everybody knew of JawMeighan but it was after that that I courted him and from then until now he was a Santino’s rider and only for Santino’s since then.  I believe JawMeighan is the best talent that ever came out of Belize, bar none. I believe had JawMeighan been picked up at eighteen-years-old, nineteen-years-old, twenty the latest he would have been as good as any Tour de France rider.  JawMeighan instilled fear into the hearts of competitors wherever we traveled.  We traveled to Guatemala, we traveled to Honduras, we traveled to El Salvador, to Nicaragua, all over Mexico and when JawMeighan arrived, I could tell you, everybody di worry and in the beginning of his career he wasn’t but in the end he was what we called a complete package.  He can climb hills, he can pace and he can sprint.”

 

Ernest ‘JawMeighan’ Meighan, Deceased

“I realize that Andrew Smiling, he get behind me, but I realize that the foreigner that come work for him, he’s not gonna really try to win this race so I noh worry about this foreigner. I know that he is going to bring it hard around the curve for Andrew Smiling because he dah wah real round up, wind up sprinter. I’m not really a wind-up sprinter, but I was very strong today and I did it. I wanna say special thanks to all my teammate, to Mister Santino; I know he is very happy. He really wanted this win. I wanna say my brother out there, I was really worried about him when 1 was in Dominica, I heard he got shot and he was very ill. I wanna big up my brother Ellis. He really pushed me hard and said I can do it. I know I can do it.”

 

Ernest ‘Jaw-Meighan’ Meighan, an icon in Belizean sports, dead at forty-two.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Reflections of an Icon…”

  1. André Lopez, JP says:

    I agree with the Honorable Santiago Castillo Jr., that we need to re-institute the death penalty. the murder of too many of our good citizens has gotten out of hand. André Lopez, JP

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