Veronica Campbell Brown: Statue is 'a blessing, a gesture I truly appreciate'

By October 21, 2019
Veronica Campbell-Brown (c) sharing her special moment with students from her alma mater Vere Technical and Sports Minister Olivia Grange on Sunday. Veronica Campbell-Brown (c) sharing her special moment with students from her alma mater Vere Technical and Sports Minister Olivia Grange on Sunday.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, one of the all-time greats of track and field, was honoured by her home country of Jamaica on Sunday when they mounted a statue of her likeness at Independence Park in Kingston.

In a career that has spanned more than two decades since she first represented Jamaica as a junior athlete, VCB, has won 19 senior global medals including three Olympic gold medals and three gold medals at the IAAF World Championships.

She has also won more than 50 medals while representing her country during that time. She won her first Olympic title in the 200m in Athens in 2004 and then defended the title in Beijing in 2008.

During the ceremony attended by many dignitaries including Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange, VCB’s statue mounted next to that of her mentor and idol Merlene Ottey was unveiled to rapturous applause.

It was the third of four statues commissioned by the government to pay tribute to some of the country’s greatest athletes.

Statues of eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt and now four-time World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have been mounted over the last three years. With VCB’s statue now up, only that of former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell is left to join them.

Campbell-Brown, who was accompanied by her husband Omar Brown, the 2006 Commonwealth Games 200-metre champion, and with her daughter Avianna in her arms, unveiled the latest work of sculptor Basil Watson.

“To be remembered and commemorated for my contribution to Jamaica’s rich history in this unique way is an absolute ­blessing and a gesture that I greatly ­appreciate,” said Campbell-Brown as she addressed the audience gathered before her.

A picture of humility on the face of the grand occasion, VCB showered praise on the woman, whose statue stands beside hers.

“Merlene is such an awesome person. I really admire her,” she said.

“I’m just grateful to be among Jamaica’s rich history and persons like her have set the pace for all of us who came after her. So I’m grateful to be here among these great athletes.”

Prime Minister Holness, during his address, said Jamaica must recognize in its athletes' victories, the triumph of the nation.

“We revel in the fact that these stories of outstanding achievements are for the rest of us the inspiration we need as we play our part in advancing the prosperity of our people,” he said.
“Moments like these form part of the platform for us to engage with each other and commit to the transformation of our country. It is proof that there is nothing we cannot overcome once we set our minds to it and work assiduously in unison.”

Meanwhile, Minister Grange said moments like these continue to demonstrate Jamaica’s incredible heritage in sports.

“Sport is one of the areas in which our country has demonstrated its global prowess and gained competitive advantage,” she said.

“It is about the persistence of men and women who were undaunted by the dazzling glare of international competition. It was about men and women for whom the representation of country and family, and the dream of global recognition were the motivating factors for the unleashing of energy that would propel them to glory.”

 

 

 

 

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.

Related items

  • Yulimar Rojas' 15.43m shatters triple jump world record in Madrid Yulimar Rojas' 15.43m shatters triple jump world record in Madrid

    Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas smashed the world indoor triple jump record at the Meeting Villa de Madrid, the final World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting of the season, on Friday.

    Rojas set a mark of 15.43m eclipsing the mark of 15.36m set by Russia's Tatyana Lebedova in Budapest in 2004.

    The two-time world champion opened with a foul but then registered a valid 14.65m in round two to take the lead.

    She fouled again in round three before sailing out to 15.29m in round four, breaking her own South American indoor record and moving to second on the world indoor all-time list.

    Then on her final jump before a packed Polideportivo Gallur, Rojas achieved her world record mark, adding seven centimetres to the world indoor record that had stood since 2004.

    It was also two centimetres farther than her outdoor PB and is the absolute second-best triple jump performance, indoors or outdoors.

  • Jamaica International Invitational to return in 2020 as Continental World Series silver meet Jamaica International Invitational to return in 2020 as Continental World Series silver meet

    After an absence of a year, the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) will return to the track and field calendar in 2020 as a part of the World Athletics Continental Series.

     However, the meet will carry a silver designation in the World Athletics Continental World Series launched earlier year.

    The Continental World Series will replace the World Challenge events as the second tier of competition under the Diamond League, and the four events that have been controversially cut, either partially or completely, from the latter competition for next season will have senior status within the new format.

    The four events - triple jump, discus, 200 metres and 3,000m steeplechase - will be part of the core events in the top, or Gold level of the Tour, which will also have Silver and Bronze levels.

    The JII meet was first held in 2004 and for eight years was a World Challenge meet, one tier down from the prestigious Diamond League designation. However, in 2019, due largely to financial constraints, the meet was cancelled.

    “It is with regret that we inform you that due to budget issues the 2019 staging of the Jamaica International Invitational IAAF World Challenge Meeting has been cancelled,” a statement on the meeting’s website said.

    However, Dr Warren Blake, President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) said then that he was confident the meet would return in 20020. On Friday, he confirmed that the meet would be back.

    According to the JII website, the meet is set for May 2, 2020.

     “There will be a meet this year,” said Dr Blake who added that Athletes’ Liaison Donald Quarrie has been assembling a quality field of athletes to participate at the meet.

    However, the meet will be taken down a peg, as it will only have a silver designation among the meets that fall under the umbrella of the Continental World Series.

    Dr Blake explained that following the debacle that led to the cancellation of the meet in 2019, earlier this year, World Athletics had sought assurances that there would not be a repeat of what occurred in 2019. They demanded a written guarantee that funding would be in place for this year’s meet.

    However, the local organisers missed the deadline by a few days, which resulted in the meet missing the gold-level designation now enjoyed by the Racers Grand Prix set to run off in June.

    Dr Blake said World Athletics will be reviewing the Continental Series at the end of the season and they are hopeful that the JII will obtain a gold designation going forward.

    A press conference to announce details pertaining to the 2020 Jamaica International Invitational is set to be held sometime in March.

     

     

     

     

  • Elaine Thompson-Herah, Kirani James lead world-class field set for Grenada Invitational April 4 Elaine Thompson-Herah, Kirani James lead world-class field set for Grenada Invitational April 4

    A world-class cast of athletes including double-Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah, world-champion Anderson Peters and fast-rising teen star Briana Williams, have been confirmed for the 2020 edition of the Grenada Invitational that was launched on Wednesday at the Radisson Beach Resort, St. George’s.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.