From Athletics and Boxing to Swimming!
Did you know- In recent decades, Jamaica has had two important swimmers.Janelle Atkinson, for example, was Latin America’s second best female swimmer, after Claudia Poll (Costa Rica), in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Miss Atkinson, a graduated from the Bolles School (Jacksonville, Florida), took fourth place in the women’s 400m freestyle at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. At the 1999 Pan American Games in North America, she won three silver medals. Fifteen years ago, by 1984, the Island’s swimmer Andrew Phillips finished sixth in the men’s 200 meter individual medley -which is made up of the butterfly, the breaststroke, the backstroke, and freestyle- in the Games of the 23rd Olympiad in America, ahead of Nikolai Klapkarek and Ralf Diegel (both from Germany).
Did you know- Jamaican boxer Barry Foster captured the bronze medal in the lightweight division in the IV Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1963. A year ago, the national boxing team, led by Roland Holmes, won two gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Kingston, Jamaica.
Did you know- Cyclist David Weller earned a bronze medal in the Games of the XXII Olympiad in the early 1980s; Caribbean’s first Olympic medal since the competition was established in 1896. At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Weller came in sixth place. He began to make a name for himself in cycling in the mid-1970s when he was runner-up at the Pan American Games in Mexico City, behind Joselyn Lovell of Canada (gold medal). Toward the end of the 1970s, he also won a silver medal in the VIII Pan American Games in San Juan de Puerto Rico. For that performance, Weller qualified for the Summer Olympics in the Soviet Union in 1980. During the years from 1975 to 1984, this amazing athlete became one of the most respected cyclists in the Western Hemisphere.
Did you know- Deon Hemmings became the first female hurdler from Latin America to capture an Olympic title when she won the women’s 400m hurdles in the Summer Olympic Games in the United States in the mid-1990s. Today Miss Hemmings, like Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt, is a popular figure in the Island, one of the most successful Olympic nations in the world. Athlete Hemmings was born on September 10, 1968 in Saint Ann, Jamaica.
Did you know- Soccer is one of the most favorite pastimes of the nation’s inhabitants. Toward the end of the 20th century, the Island won the right to compete in the FIFA World Cup in Paris, France.
Alejandro Guevara Onofre: Freelance writer. Alejandro is author of a host of articles/essays about over 220 countries and dependencies (and American States as well), from ecology, history, tourism and national heroes to Olympic sports, foreign relations, and wildlife. In addition, he has published some books on women’s rights, among them “History of the Women in America” and “Famous Americans”.