Jamaican Olympian Michael Fray found dead in downtown Kingston

By November 06, 2019
Michael Fray (right) seen here with fellow Olympian Dennis Johnson (extreme left) was found dead in Kingston on Wednesday morning. Michael Fray (right) seen here with fellow Olympian Dennis Johnson (extreme left) was found dead in Kingston on Wednesday morning.

Jamaican Olympian Michael Fray was found dead on Wednesday, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association has confirmed.

His body was reportedly found in an office in downtown Kingston early Wednesday morning.

Fray had been living with fellow  Olympian Rupert Hoilett whose house on Skibo Avenue was destroyed by fire on the weekend. Both men lost everything.

However, Fray was allowed to stay at an attorney's office in downtown Kingston until somewhere suitable was found for him to relocate to. He reportedly spent Monday and Tuesday night at the office.

The 72-year-old Fray represented Jamaica in the 100m and 200m sprints at the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968 and 1972 in Munich.

“It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Olympian Michael Fray. He was a talented sprinter, who competed at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games,” the JAAA said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

The statement did not provide any details of the circumstances surrounding his passing.

However, it reminded of Fray’s significant legacy while representing Jamaica.

He is among an elite group of sprinters who have been in Olympic finals over both 100 and 200 metres. He shares the distinction with Herb McKenley, Don Quarrie, Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.

In the 1968 Olympics, he ran the second leg on the 4x100m relay team of Errol Stewart, Lennox Miller and Clifton Forbes to set a world record of 38.39 seconds in the 4x100m relay. The team had established a new world record of 38.6 in the heats before breaking it again in the semi-finals. The USA set a new world record in the final where Jamaica finished fourth.

However, the semi-final time stood as the Jamaican national record until 2000.

In the finals of the 1968 Olympic 200m, Fray placed seventh in the event won by American Tommie Smith with John Carlos second.

At the Munich Games in 1972, Fray placed fifth in the 100m final won by Valery Borzov.

Earlier in his career, Fray competed at the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay. He also won a gold medal in 1966 at the Central America and Caribbean Games.

He ran the 4x400m in 1967 at the Pan Am Games.

 In 1967, while competing for Odessa Junior College, Fray set a US National Junior College record in the 200m. He later enrolled at University of Texas at El Paso in 1968 and was ranked 10th in the world by US Track and Field news.

At UTEP he helped pave the way for other Jamaican athletes including 1983 world champion Bertland Cameron.

Fray was a graduate of St. Andrew Technical High School.

“He will be greatly missed by the athletic fraternity. The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association extends our condolences to his family and friends,” the JAAA said. “May his soul rest in peace.”

 

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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