History-making Hemmings-McCatty thankful for 'special moment' after being honoured at launch of 50 Days Afire

By November 04, 2022
Deon Hemmings-McCatty, the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic gold medal receiving a citation from artist Patrick Kitson during the launch of the book 50 Days Afire at the GC Foster College in Spanish Town, St Catherine on Thursday night. Hemmings-McCatty won the 400m hurdles at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta in an Olympic record 52.82s. Deon Hemmings-McCatty, the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic gold medal receiving a citation from artist Patrick Kitson during the launch of the book 50 Days Afire at the GC Foster College in Spanish Town, St Catherine on Thursday night. Hemmings-McCatty won the 400m hurdles at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta in an Olympic record 52.82s.

Deon Hemmings-McCatty created history at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 when she won the 400m hurdles to become the first woman from the Caribbean to win an Olympic gold medal.

Hemmings ran an Olympic record 52.82 holding off the challenge of Americans Kim Batten and Tonja Buford and etch her name into the annals of Jamaica track and field history. She would win a silver medal in the event at the Sydney Games in 2000 when she also won another silver medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x400m relay team and cement her legacy as one of Jamaica’s great athletes.

Those exploits were recalled and celebrated at GC Foster College on Thursday night during the launch of 50 Days Afire, a book written by Michael A. Grant and Hubert Lawrence. The book chronicles 50 track and field performances that have defined Jamaica’s legacy in the sport.

Hemmings-McCatty’s accomplishments appear in the 260-page book that was the third undertaking between Grant and Lawrence over the past decade.

During the ceremony, a video of the reserved athlete’s triumphant run in Atlanta was shown after which she was presented with a citation created by artist Patrick Kitson.

Needless to say, she was overwhelmed by fact that her exploits were being celebrated and that her place in Jamaica’s track and field history has not been forgotten.

“It is a special occasion to know that after retiring for so long people still see the work or still remember the work that I have done and I will cherish this very special moment and I am thankful,” said Hemmings-McCatty, who retired in 2003, almost 20 years ago.

The event was attended by Olympian Vilma Charlton, Vice-Principal of GC Foster College Gibbs Williams, MVP President Bruce James and the granddaughters of GC Foster Andrea Roberts, Debbie Jardine and Heather Chin.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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