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Sports in Jamaica

Jamaica has established and maintained a remarkable sporting record over the past half-century. Since 1948 Jamaicans have won many Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals. Jamaica's track and field athletes are acknowledged to be among the best in the world. In addition, Jamaica has held several world records, and produced world famous cricketers, boxers, footballers, cyclists, weight lifters and wrestlers.


Bob Sledding

In 1988, Jamaica participated in the Calgary Winter Olympics in the bobsled event, finishing 29th overall in their first Winter Olympics Games. The team also participated in the 1992 Winte Olympics in albertville and finsihed 34th. In 1994, at Lilehammer, the team had its best finish, placing 14th in the four-man event, ahead of Japan which finished 15th. The performance of the Jamaican Bobsled Team - a phenomenon made more remarkable by the fact that Jamaica is a tropical island which has never seen snow - achieved additional fame through the Walt Disney movie "Cool Runnings".

Track & Field

Track and Field

Usain Bolt of Jamaica is the current World and Olympic record holder other 100 meters and 200 meters. Both records we achieved in the Beijing 2008 olymipcs where Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser also one gold in the women's 100 meter final followed by her teammates Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson who tied for the Silver medal. Shericka Williams added a silver medal to Jamaica's tally along with the Olympic record gold medal by Melaine Walker's in the 400m hurdles and Veronica Campnbell-Brown successfully defended her Women's 200m title, crossing the line for gold

In the 1996 Olympic Games, Jamaica won six medals - one gold, three silver and two bronze. In the 400 metres hurdle Deon Hemmings won Jamaica's first Olympic gold medal in a female event and James Beckford won Jamaica's firt long jump medal.

One of our greatest sports personalities and olympians is Merlene Ottey, OD, who received the appoint of Ambassador at Large by the Government in 1993.

Ottey was the first female Jamaican Athlete to have won an olympic medal, and the first female in the English Speaking Caribbean to have won two olympic medals. Merlene has made and broken many track and field records and has won many awards.

Jamaica also performed well in the 1997 Junior Carifta Games, accumulating 61 medals - 28 gold, 20 silver and 13 bronze. The 1998 Carfita Track and Field Games, were held in the Hasley Crawford Stadium, Trinidad and Tobago between April 11 and 13. Jamaica dominated the games and placed first with 31 gold, 21 silver and 17 bronze medals.

Jamaica has also exhibited outstanding performances in football and netball. Jamaica currently holds the number 5 world ranking in netball.

In addition to traditional sports such as horse racing, auto racing, seasonal bird shooting and regattas, there are several `new' sports. These include ballooning and go-kart racing. Deep seas fishing tournaments are held periodically throughout the year an attract international participation.



Cricket is one of the most popular sports played in Jamaica. It was passed down from the English colonial masters, and today serves as a unifying force among Jamaicans.

Many Jamaicans have excelled regionally and internationally in cricket including George Headley, Alfred Valentine, Jackie Hendricks, Collie Smith, Michael Holding, Jeffry Dujon and Courtney Walsh.

Courtney Walsh, former Jamaica, West Indies and Gloucesteshire captain is presently the leading wicket taker in West Indies Cricket history. At the end of the 1999 Cable & Wireless series, his tally stood at 434 test wickets. He is also the third highest wicket taker of all time.



Jamaica's national football team (known as the Reggae Boys), created history when they qualified for World Cup 1998. The were the first team from an English Speaking Caribbean nation to do so. At the World Cup, Jamaica faced Croatia, Argentina and Japan. They lost to Croatia and Argentina, but were 2-1 winners over Japan.

The Government through the Institute of Sports (INSPORT) - the organisation responsible for the development of sports locally - and the Social Development Commission (SDC), has broadened the base of participation in other sporting activities. These include volleyball, basketball and softball, in addition to football and netball.

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