Do you know the name of the youngest Jamaican Olympian? What about the oldest? Has Jamaica ever failed to medal at the Olympic Games? Well, if you like trivia, I’ve got the answers to these questions and more for you.
Check out these random facts from Jamaica’s Olympics history:
- Jamaica’s highest medal count at the Olympics is 12 (four gold, four silver and four bronze), achieved in London 2012.
- Our lowest medal count is one, in both the 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich Games. On both occasions, we have sprinter Lennox Miller to thank, as he won first silver and then bronze in the 100m.
- Team Jamaica won no medals in the 1956 and 1964 Games in Melbourne, Australia and Tokyo, Japan, respectively.
- The youngest Jamaican Olympian was swimmer Belinda Phillips, who was 13 years and 361 days old when she competed at the 1972 Games in Munich, West Germany. She participated in the women’s 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events.
- The oldest Jamaican Olympian was Barton Kirkconnell, who was 51 years and 162 days old when he competed in sailing at the 1968 Mexico City Games.
- The smallest Jamaican team was the six-member contingent that participated at the 1956 Melbourne Games.
- The largest team is this year’s 63-member squad to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Jamaican athletes competed as part of the British West Indies in the 1960 Games in Rome, Italy. The ‘nation’, dubbed the Antilles, won two bronze medals. The first was Jamaican George Kerr’s bronze in the 800m. Kerr later teamed up with compatriots Keith Gardner and Malcolm Spence and Barbadian James Wedderburn to place third in the 4x400m relay.
- The most diverse team is the 1972 Munich squad, which participated in six different sports: athletics, boxing, cycling, diving, sailing and swimming.
- Merlene Ottey is the only track and field athlete to compete at seven Olympic Games, between 1980-2004. She has won nine medals (three silver and six bronze.)
Tracey-Ann Wisdom is a freelance writer and editor based in Kingston, Jamaica. You can find her online at www.writtenbytracey.com.