The Olympians Association of Jamaica today, May 25, 2020, celebrates 100 years since the birth of the late Dr Arthur Wint, OD, CD, MBE, Jamaica’s first Olympic gold medallist.
Jamaica will always remember Dr Wint for his upset victory over his compatriot Herb McKenley in the 400 metres at the 1948 Olympics Games in London. Wint won in 46.2 seconds and went on to win the silver medal in the 800m.
Four years later, Wint, Les Laing, George Rhoden and McKenley formed Jamaica’s history-making quartet that won the gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland. Arthur Wint was born in the parish of Manchester and established himself as an elite athlete while attending Calabar and Excelsior High Schools.
However, his successes transitioned beyond track and field. After running his final race in 1953 at Wembley Stadium, Wint interned at St. Bartholemew’s Hospital in London and graduated as a surgeon.
A year before he returned to Jamaica in 1955, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. He settled in Hanover as the only resident doctor in the parish.
For his outstanding work, he was awarded the Order of Distinction in 1973 and served as Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Britain and Ambassador to Sweden and Denmark from 1974 to 1978.
He was inducted in the Black Athlete’s Hall of Fame in the US (1977), the Jamaica Sports Hall of Fame (1989) and the Central American & Caribbean Athletic Confederation Hall of Fame (2003).
He was also a founding member as well as the first President of the Jamaica Association of Sports Medicine.
Arthur Wint died on Heroes Day in Linstead, St Catherine, at the age of 72.
In marking the 100th anniversary of his birth, the OAJ will be providing office supplies and assistance in the beautification of the Salvation Army Arthur Wint Basic School in Lucea, Hanover.
“Olympians stand on his shoulders and will seek to emulate his discipline, his humility and his service to the nation,” said Marvin Anderson, President of the OAJ.
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