While champion Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce intended to leave the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with another gold medal in the 100-meter event, she won the silver instead and watched her teammate Elaine Thompson-Herah take home the gold in a culmination of the pair’s long-standing rivalry on the track. Fraser-Pryce took the situation in stride, however, saying in an article she wrote that she was disappointed at not being the first woman to win three 100-meter gold medals at the Olympics in 2021, “We all run for Jamaica.”
Fraser-Pryce does not view her experience in Tokyo as a failure and said that she was happy that the gold medal came to Jamaica with Thompson-Herah, noting that, “God’s will always prevails, and Elaine was able to bring home the gold for our country.” The two runners were part of Jamaica’s clean sweep in the 100-meters, with Shericka Jackson winning the bronze medal for the Jamaican one-two-three final. And instead of seeing herself as being defeated, Fraser-Pryce believes she is an inspiration to others.
She added that “age is just a number” and have had a part in bringing home a gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay was the perfect ending to her Tokyo campaign. “In most places, track is an individual sport, you know? It is all about you, the runner. But here? Track is the collective. It is in our blood, in our social fabric,” Fraser-Pryce wrote in a section on The Players’ Tribune.
Born in Kingston in 1986, the 34-year-old is considered one of the greatest sprinters in history. She attained global success beginning in the late 2000s and helped to bring Jamaican athletics to the world’s attention. She has won two Olympic gold medals in the 100 meters, her signature event, and is a four-time world champion. She won Olympic silver and World Championship gold in the 200 meters.
In total, she has won eight Olympic medals and became the first woman from the Caribbean to win gold in the 100 meters. She became one of just three women in history to defend that title. With her silver medal in Tokyo, she became the only woman to win four individual 100-meter medals in the history of the Olympic Games. She is the only individual to win four world titles in the 100 meters, and her victory in 2019 at the age of 32 made her the oldest female sprinter and the first mother in 24 years to take home an international 100-meter title. She has also won more global 100-meter titles than any other female sprinter.
Fraser-Pryce has announced that she will retire after the 2022 World Athletics Championships.
Photo Source: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Instagram