If you were born and raised in the Caribbean nation of Jamaica, then you probably ran track and field.
And if you didn’t, you will have no doubt learnt all about the grand history of Jamaica’s incredibly fast athletes.
This relatively small island nation has had a good run (literally!) in the Olympics, particularly in recent years.
First competing in the London games in 1948, Jamaica won it’s very first gold medal when Arthur Wint, from Plowden in Manchester, won the Men’s 400 metres.
And ever since then, the Jamaican team has consistently been a force to be reckoned with.
Boasting an impressive medal tally of 67, the nation is now in the top 20% of medal-winning countries. An impressive feat, no doubt, for a country of only three million people.
And as a track obsessed nation, it’s no surprise that Jamaica’s ever-dominant sprinting history is reflected in this medal tally. It turns out that all but one of the 67 medals won are in track and field and all but three of those in the individual and relay sprint events.
And as many Jamaicans would be proud to tell you, the country has really come into its own in recent years. The team came home with a personal best of six gold medals in the 2006 Beijing Olympics and an impressive 4 from the 2012 Olympics.
And at least some of this current success is thanks, in part, to sprinter Usain Bolt.
Indeed, all eyes in Jamaica and across the globe will be on the iconic figure as he attempts to make history by becoming the first man ever to win three straight triple-triples after his wins in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
But how will Jamaica fair at this summer’s Olympic Games? With all previous 2012 Olympic medal winners in contention and up-and-coming young athletes looking to impress, this small island can surely hope to build on their 12 medals achieved in London and continue to enhance their ever growing presence on the global stage.
However, medal tally and history-making aside, one thing is for sure, the Jamaican athletes and fans alike will place their stamp on the Games by bringing their infectious care-free, proud Caribbean identity which we know that only they can wear so well!
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