What an athlete: Samuda hails retiring Fraser-Pryce's inspiring resilience and commitment to country

By Sports Desk February 20, 2024

As the news of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s pending retirement continues to soak in, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president Christopher Samuda is among those already expressing gratitude to the decorated athlete, whose life and legacy on the track, has been an inspiration to many across the global sporting landscape.

In fact, Samuda hinted at his association's plans to celebrate the legacy of Jamaican sprint icon, who will hang up her spikes after the Olympic Games in Paris, later this year.

Since she won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, Fraser-Pryce has enjoyed one of the most dominating careers in track and field history, as she tallied eight Olympic medals, including three gold, 16 medals at the World Athletics Championships, which includes 10 world titles, and ranks as the third fastest woman in history with 10.60 seconds in the 100m.

But she is not quite done yet, as she will certainly be aiming to add to those accolades and, by extension, fittingly end her illustrious career on a high.

“Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will retire from the track, but it will always be her stomping ground, given the lessons she taught and her legacy will remain. What an athlete. She is a culture of absolute discipline, courage and resilience. An Olympian and World Champion whose enduring commitment to country is inspiring,” Samuda told SportsMax.TV.

“She is a global sporting ambassador whose credentials are well known and are accepted by many countries. The Jamaica Olympic Association will honour those attributes which resided in ‘Pocket Rocket’, and which are now gaining ineffable expression in ‘Mommy Rocket’,” he added.

On that note, Samuda, while reflecting on her many accomplishments, highlighted that Fraser-Pryce is only human, who has given her all to the demands of balancing sport with family life.

“More importantly, she's a daughter, a mother, a wife, and a colleague. An Olympian, a human being endowed with a humanity that embodies goodwill, and a smile that comes from the heart. She embodies a spirit and personhood that makes her not just a gold medalist, but more importantly a standard bearer,” Samuda shared.

“What an explosion she has been on life's track which will forever bear her indelible footprints,” he noted.

The 37-year-old Fraser-Pryce in a recent interview, explained that her decision to retire after this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris stems from her wanting to dedicate more time to her family.

“My son needs me. My husband and I have been together since before I won in 2008. He has sacrificed for me and it’s because of that support that I’m able to do the things that I have been doing for all these years. I think I now owe it to them to do something else,” Fraser-Pryce said.

The vivacious athlete’s win in Beijing made her first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic 100m gold, and her follow-up victory in 2012 made her only the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles. She joined other greats Wyoma Tyus and Gail Devers of the USA to accomplish the feat.

Fraser-Pryce’s 2009 World 100m title in Berlin, saw her become the first woman to hold Olympic and World titles simultaneously, a feat she accomplished twice with victories in London in 2012 and Moscow in 2013.

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