Jamaican born Olympic Fencer dies at 29

Jamaican-born Olympic Fencer Kamara James, who represented the USA at the 2004 Olympic Games, has died at the tender age of 29.

The sad news of her passing was posted on the USA Fencing website and various social media pages yesterday (October 14).

It is still unclear how she died. Kamara passed away in Modesto, California. She was born in Kingston, Jamaica, before moving to Queens, New York, at the age of 10. She earned a full scholarship to Princeton, where she graduated in 2007.

  

A story by Eric Rosenberg on fencing.net portrayed Kamara as a very resilient individual despite having a very challenging life.

“Kamara was a survivor; of abuse, of neglect, of poverty and of homelessness. I will not recount the sordid details of all that she endured. All her life, she refused to be defined by her suffering, but rather by her successes. At the beginning of her senior year at Princeton, Kamara had herself admitted to a psychiatric hospital and received a diagnosis of schizophrenia.After only three months of treatment, she was released and returned to school. In a single semester, she managed to complete one year’s worth of credits in addition to a 120 page senior thesis and graduate on time. Subsequently, Harvard University admitted her to a Master’s program in comparative religion. Unfortunately, mental illness proved Kamara’s most unrelenting adversary. Still, just prior to her death, she had resumed a stable drug regimen, was living comfortably and had begun thinking about the future.

The world will never know what Kamara James was capable of accomplishing had she not been so cruelly afflicted. Yet we who knew her, and loved her, will forever celebrate what she did in a life too short, and mourn what might have been. 

Image of Kamara James fencer
Photo of Kamara James Image Source: usfencing.org

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Janet Margaret Davis
6 years ago

Sad news. R.I.P.

Sonia Finnikin
6 years ago

R I. P

Sonia Finnikin
6 years ago

R I. P

Dave Clarke
6 years ago

This story is more painful than I can say. This story hits home as to my own experiences with relatives. Secrets of afflictions should never be swept under family rugs. I am wondering out loud: Would early interventions extend her life (the article did not list cause of death).

Dave Clarke
6 years ago

This story is more painful than I can say. This story hits home as to my own experiences with relatives. Secrets of afflictions should never be swept under family rugs. I am wondering out loud: Would early interventions extend her life (the article did not list cause of death).

Fantastic Vassell
6 years ago

so sad my prayers is with the family

Jno Frtz
6 years ago

Such a sad loss, of a good person , and her talent, my prayers are with her family.

Delores Blake
6 years ago

May God be with her families @ this time R.I.P gone way too soon .

Beryl Bernard
6 years ago

So sad

Lovie Ada Tobedecided
6 years ago

R.I.P. babygirl.

Kayon Kentish
6 years ago

this is really sad but i am glad she did not go quietly into the night she had made her world mark. Ride on my sweet ride on

Angella Sutherland
6 years ago

So sad

Sandy Murray
6 years ago

RIP God knows best

Diana Small
6 years ago

So sad omg

Sage Green
6 years ago

Oh my, so sad to know

Lorna Malcolm
6 years ago

RIP, Kamara, please.

Roy Baker
6 years ago

so sad ,what a loss .too soon.

Yanique Everbless Hynes

rip

Gloria Gough
6 years ago

So sad

Gloria Gough
6 years ago

So sad

Gloria Gough
5 years ago

So sad