Jamaica’s First Olympic Gold Medallists

Jamaica has become a powerhouse in the field of athletics.

We are now regarded as the sprint capital of the world but many may not know that we also enjoyed great successes in the field of athletics from as early as the 1940s. 

Jamaica’s and the  world’s fastest man Usain Bolt has now attained legendary status in the eyes of many and we cant foresee anyone surpassing his achievements anytime soon.

Merlene Ottey, Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Yohan Blake, Veronica Campbell-Brown among others are some of the phenomenal Jamaican athletes who have achieved great things over the years.


We are truly blessed as a nation to have many of the world’s most gifted athletes.

As proud as we are of our current crop of athletes, we should not forget the athletes who were the first to succeed on the biggest stage.

Arthur Wint was the first Jamaican  to earn Olympic gold by winning the 400 m at 1948 Summer Olympics.  McKenley was the  favourite to win the 400 metres event but ended second behind Arthur.

Just prior to the 1948 London Olympics, McKenley ran the new world record in 440 yd (400 m) of 46.0, a record he broke again a month later, clocking 45.9.

George Vincent Rhoden was the  winner of two Olympic gold medals in 1952.

Several other athletes worthy of note emerged in the following decades but these were among the first to place Jamaica’s name atop the world and in many ways their achievements laid the solid foundation for which athletics and in particular sprinting in Jamaica has blossomed.

Watch Jamaican athletes win the country’s first Olympic Gold medals below:


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