Home More Sports Athletics

“Track was where I found stability” – Jamaica Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reflects upon her wins

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became one of four women ever to defend an Olympic 100-meter title at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, aka the “Pocket Rocket” for her five-foot frame and explosive starts, is one of the all-time most successful athletes. She is also the first Jamaican woman to win the gold for 100 meters at her very maiden Olympic Games at Beijing 2008. Notably, Fraser-Pryce is the most decorated 100-meter runner in Olympic history and the third-fastest woman in the world.

Advertisement
Advertisement

During a recent interaction with Sports Illustrated, Fraser-Prycez who was born and raised in Waterhouse, a district of Jamaica’s capital city Kingston, talked about the early days of her accomplished career.

“It’s particular where I’m from. It’s a lot of tenement yards,” she says. “I was really just trying to survive. Do you know what I mean? It was just me, my mom and my two brothers. We moved a lot in the community.” She exclaimed that running resolutely affirmed her with purpose, giving her something to focus on apart from her current situation. “Stability at that young age wasn’t a thing. The track was where I found that stability because it was just something that was constant.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

“My mom always encourages me to take track to next level”

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

The 35-year-old went on to cite her mother, Maxine Simpson, as her greatest inspiration, the glowing blueprint for her entrepreneurial, resilient spirit. FYI, Simpson was a former sprinter herself, but her career never materialized. However, she saw an opportunity for her daughter to make it out of Waterhouse, and leave a massive impact on the global athletics map.

“She had my little brother, so it didn’t happen for her. It was hard because as a young girl in an inner-city, there are so many distractions,” Fraser-Pryce says. “My mom would always encourage me to take the track to the next level, to try to get a scholarship, because she didn’t have that chance.”

Also Read | Tokyo 2020: “Legacy isn’t just about winning” – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after missing out on gold in women’s 100m finals