Famous Jamaican Olympians
From The Countryside To The World
by Rosalee Phang
We salute all the Jamaican Olympians anywhere you are in the world, we love you and appreciate the work you’ve put in.
We know it’s a lot of pressure trying to live up to the great expectations of us fellow Jamaicans, but that’s because it is in our nature to be, and expect, the best at whatever it is we do.
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Jamaica is just 146 miles long by 51 miles wide, still extremely small in comparison to most other places, but based on the amount of talent we have put out on the international platform, you could never tell.
Listed below are a few of the most notable names which comes to mind when thinking about track and field athletes/olympians on this our small island.
Famous Jamaican Olympians
The following are some of the most notable Olympians from Jamaica and their awards/medals to date.
Hon. Herb Henry McKenley 1 Gold 3 Silver
Sir Arthur Wint 2 Gold 2 Silver
Merlene Ottey 3 Silver 6 Bronze
Juliet Cuthbert 2 Silver 1 Bronze
Veronica Campbell brown 3 Gold 3 Silver 2 Bronze
Shelly Ann Fraser price 2 Gold 3 Silver 1 Bronze
Sherone Simpson 1 Gold 2 Silver
Asafa Powell 1 Gold
Yohan Blake 2 Gold 2 Silver
Nesta carter 1 Gold
Usain bolt 8 Gold
Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Usain Bolt were part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics 4x100 m relay team which has now been disqualified removing a gold medal from each. This decision is currently being appealed.
Don’t get me wrong though, running is not our only forte, we have Olympians in other areas such as: swimming, boxing, cycling, diving and a fun fact on sailing; Barton Kirkconnell 51 years and 162 days old competed in the 1968 Mexico games not to mention our famous bobsleigh team which they even made a movie off (Cool Runnings), track and field is where we dominate!
To date Jamaica has a total of 77 medals inclusive of the country’s first medal from Sir Arthur Stanley Wint OD, MBE the beginning of greatness (25 May 1920 – 19 October 1992), winning the 400meter in 1948 at the London Olympics.
He was born and raised in Plowden, Manchester and went to Calabar High school aka ‘Rabalac’ may his soul rest in peace.
Fast forward 60 years, enter Usain St Leo Bolt OJ, CD at the Beijing Olympics taking gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m. Greatness personified the little boy from Trelawny now the big man taking it to the world.
Not taking anything away from the aforementioned greats as they have all made their own individual marks with pride and humility, and stamped their names in our minds forever.
Not sure if you have ever put any great thought into it though but did you realized that all these athletes are from the countryside of Jamaica.
Maybe it’s the humble beginnings, the cool air, natural foods, the raw talent, the drive to be better or a combination of all these factors which make us great. The one thing I do know, theses Jamaicans have made their mark on the world.
And it’s not over just yet, there is the unknown, the ones in the shadows waiting to have their names shouted from the stands, the young generation, the new Jamaican Olympians. Look out world!
Posted: February 2017
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About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.
To date, he serves over 8,300 unique readers / viewers per day.
His efforts have earned him featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities.
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