Longtime actor and former WWE wrestler Zeus, most popularly recognized as “Debo” from the Friday movies, Tiny Lister Jr. has a message for the three time Olympic Gold Medalist and dual world record holder representing the flag depicted with a gold saltire on a green and black field, “I’m the new security advisor to the Olympic Team; I’m coming to London. Tell Usain Bolt and all of them to sleep with their lights on, America’s hunting Jamaicans.”
The ultra patriotic actor, who coincidently portrayed the character of President Lindberg in film The Fifth Element is also a former NCAA Track and Field Champion. “I was the 1982 Shot Put Champion, I broke the school record seven times in one year,” stated Lister who matriculated at Cal State – L.A. where he now hosts the annual Tiny Lister Invitational. “Every year I have a track meet to raise money for the athletic program at Cal State – LA,” explained Lister adding, “We give out diamond watches every year.”
And with 2012 being an Olympic year, Lister announced, “I’m going to honor the Olympic athletes next year with some diamond watches and honor coach Ron Alice … that’s my white daddy at SC, don’t get it twisted!”
But it is the current, as yet, unresolved Women’s 100-meter U.S. Olympic Team which truly has the 54 year-old actor and passionate track fan emotionally ‘twisted’ and highly disturbed. “How can you be a Track and Field official and put additional pressure on your best athletes in America,” questioned Lister furthering, “That don’t even make sense! Our job is to remove pressure…figure a way to take care of both of them, not hurt one of them.”
Nike sprinters, the decorated Allyson Felix and relative newcomer Jeneba Tarmoh, are mired in the inevitable position of what track officials have ruled a “dead-heat” for the third and final place on the U.S. Women’s 100-meter Olympic Team. With no official existing method of resolution within the USATF rules and regulations, the two athletes have been relegated to a newly forged state of “track purgatory” attempting to arrive at a mutually agreed solution which may include a “run-off” or possibly, the fated probability of a “coin flip”.
“Can you imagine?” exclaimed Lister. “Just to say the words ‘coin flip’, I mean that even sounds stupid,” offered the actor while adding with brutal honesty, “You have to be educated and knowledgeable to hold a high position, you can’t just give people positions. It hurt me a lot because it was putting stress on athletes who been training all their life to do this in one day. You don’t get a second chance at this.”
Lister, who further states, “in track and field you train your whole life for four years,” is well aware of the high stakes consequences attached to earning an Olympic spot and believes a potential solution offered by NBC Sports commentator Ato Boldon, which would require restructuring U.S.O.C. rules, would be a more amenable remedy to the athletes and the sport. “I just wish they would use Boldon as a technical advisor because he said they run overseas in two weeks in one of the Diamond League meets and they could settle it then,” said Lister who, if a suitable solution was not provided, offering his services as Debo joked, “I might get on my bicycle and go down to Oregon and have to pass judgment on some people because it won’t hurt my movie career, it’ll just get me three more movies.”
But the ‘hurt’ that 2008 Beijing Bronze 100-meter Medalist Walter Dix experienced at this year’s Trials failing to make the team due to a nagging hamstring injury is someone Lister said he is “praying for” because “it really hurt us when Dix got hurt.”
Lister understanding the loss of Dix to mean “We are going to need Tyson [Gay] and [Justin] Gatlin to run some 9.6s and 9.7s at the Olympic Games and I would like to see both of them upset the Jamaicans” added, “I’m a big Tyson Gay fan [and] my wife has really been pulling for Justin Gatlin. I love how they allowed [Gatlin and Ryan Bailey] to pick their boys up and get on that track with their kids. I’m American baby!”
And on the women’s version of the 100-meters Lister puts a lot of red, white and blue support behind the 2011 World 100-meter Champion who made her first Olympic team this past weekend. “I am big fan of [Carmelita Jeter] and my wife loves how humble she was … I really pray to God that she wins that 100m,” stated Lister also rejoicing in the incomprehensible success story of USC quartermiler and Compton, CA native Bryshon Nellum, “I’m so happy for Nellum ... that shotgun blast by some gang bangers that tried to hurt him because they knew he was a great athlete … but Jesus Christ had another purpose for Nellum and he made the Olympic team.”
Making her third Olympic team is 400-meter American Record Holder, Sanya Richards-Ross. “I’m a big fan of hers and she represents herself as a lady at all times, she represents her husband, [Two-time Super Bowl Champion Aaron Ross,] and she represents our country,” said Lister adding, “Me and my wife was talking about how fast their baby is going to be … when they have a child, God help the world!
And of the current owner of the world leading 400-meter time seeking redemption from a 2008 Bronze place finish in Beijing Lister says, “I am praying to God that she runs a ... 48.80 at the Olympic Games and to bring home that Gold Medal.”
And of the current media darling 100-meter hurdler Lolo Jones who also will seek to bring home Olympic Gold after an infamous crash of the Bird Nest’s ninth hurdle which extinguished her golden dreams in 2008, Lister revealed “I don’t think I’m tough enough to go through what she went through,” further contemplating, “you know how many depressed days she must have went through? I wish somebody would do an in depth story on her for real.”
Lastly, Lister as “Debo” reinforced, “The Americans are going to come hunting this Olympics, sleep with your lights on because Debo might be coming to London too ... sleep with your lights on Jamaica.”
Photo Credit - DarrylDennisphotography.com