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Jamaican Athletes in the Paralympics

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Jamaican Athletes in the Paralympics | Alphonso Cunningham - source : inside the gamesJamaican Athletes in the Paralympics | Alphonso Cunningham - source: inside the games

By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

We all know that our athletes shine at each staging of the Olympics but our Jamaican paralympic athletes deserves just as much praise. 

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The Paralympics is a global sporting event that takes place every four years, following the Olympic Games. It is specifically designed for athletes with physical, intellectual, and visual impairments. The Paralympic Games aim to showcase the athletic abilities and achievements of para-athletes, providing them with a platform to compete at the highest level and inspire others

Jamaica's Paralympic movement has garnered widespread support from the community. The successes of para-athletes have been capturing the nation's attention and inspiring people of all abilities to embrace the power of determination. Community-driven initiatives, including fundraising events, awareness campaigns, and school programs, have been instrumental in fostering support and understanding. The increased visibility of para-athletes in the media has raised awareness about disabilities, challenged stereotypes, and promoted a culture of acceptance and respect. All thanks to our outstanding para-athletes. 

Jamaican Para Athletes and their Major Achievements

Alphanso Cunningham, O.D

The accomplishments of Alphanso "Ambassador" Cunningham at the Paralympics are highly known and praised. He is adept and confident, and he is well acquainted with the top of the podium at international track and field competitions, where the national anthem is played in honour of his illustrious victories. Alphanso Cunningham, a Jamaican Paralympian athlete born on August 29, 1980, specializes in category F53 throwing events. At the 2004 Summer Paralympics, Cunningham competed in the javelin and won gold in the F53 discus throw. He participated in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing without taking home a medal. At the Paralympics in London 2012, he took home the gold in the F52/53 javelin. Cunningham won gold in the discus throw F51/52/53/57 and bronze in the javelin throw F53/54/55 competitions at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto. At the 2016 Summer Paralympics, Cunningham placed fifth in the javelin F54 event and tenth in the shot put F53 event.

  • World Games, Birmingham, England โ€“ 2003 - Gold โ€“ Discus
  • Para Pan American Games, Argentina โ€“ 2003 - Gold, Discus (Pan American Record) - Gold, Javelin
  • Paralympic, Athens, Greece โ€“ 2004 - Gold, Discus (World/Olympic Record)
  • World Games, Assens, Netherlands โ€“ 2006 - Silver, Discus
  • Para Pan American Games, Brazil โ€“ 2007 - Gold, Discus - Silver, Javelin

Tanto Campbell

Tanto Campbell is a Jamaican Paralympian athlete who mostly competes in discus events in category F56. Campbell has won the bronze medal in the discus event twice at the Paralympics, in 2004 in the F56 class and 2008 in the F55/56 class. He also participated in the F55/56 class of the javelin in 2004. He finished fifth in the discus throw for the F54-56 class at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Campbell won gold in the javelin throw F56 event and silver in the discus throw F53/54/55 category at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto.

  • Para Pan American Games, Argentina โ€“ 2003 - Gold โ€“ Discus
  • Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece โ€“ 2004 - Bronze โ€“ Discus
  • Para Pan American Games, Brazil โ€“ 2007 - Silver โ€“ Discus
  • Paralympic Games, Beijing, China โ€“ 2008 - Bronze โ€“ Discus
  • Para Pan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico โ€“ 2008 - Silver โ€“ Discusโ€Žโ€Ž

Sylvia Grant, O.D

The most decorated Jamaican female Paralympian in recent history is Sylvia Grant. Sylvia is a model of concentration and tenacity in obtaining achievement; she is concentrated and focused, and both her record and her dedication to the Paralympic cause are commendable.

  • Para-Olympic, Korea โ€“ 1988 - Silver, Pentathlon (Silver, Discus, Silver, Javelin)
  • Pan American Games, Venezuela โ€“ 1989 - Gold, Pentathlon (Gold Discus, Gold, Javelin)
  • Para-Olympic, Barcelona, Spain โ€“ 1992 - Silver, Discus
  • Para-Olympic, USA, Atlanta โ€“ 1996 - Bronze, Discus
  • Pan American Games, Mexico โ€“ 1999 - Gold, Discus

Shane Hudson

Shane began running competitively at the tender age of six and showed a significant passion for the sport. With the victories he has achieved thus far in his amateur career, he has not diminished but rather intensified. In 2009, he completed his paralympic career and started what would undoubtedly be an inspirational sporting career.

  • Para Pan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico โ€“ 2011- Silver โ€“ T 47400m
  • Para Pan American Games, Toronto, Canada โ€“ 2015 - Silver โ€“ T 47 400mโ€Ž
  • IPC World Athletics Championships, Doha, Qatar โ€“ 2015 - Silver T 47 400mโ€Ž
  • Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil โ€“ 2016 - Placed fourth T 47 400m

Jamaica's Paralympic athletes have captivated the world with their extraordinary achievements and resilience. Talented athletes such as Alphanso Cunningham, a javelin thrower, and Shane Hudson, a sprinter, have triumphed on the international stage, bringing home numerous medals and setting world records. Their remarkable performances not only showcase their exceptional abilities but also challenge preconceived notions about disabilities. These para-athletes serve as role models, inspiring others to pursue their dreams and demonstrating that physical challenges do not define one's potential for success. It is my only hope that the recognition and appreciation of these athletes continue to grow as they continue to inspire.

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