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