Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson never dreamed of receiving national honour

By August 06, 2018
Atkinson to receive Order of Distinction for her contribution to swimming. Atkinson to receive Order of Distinction for her contribution to swimming.

Jamaica’s darling of the pool, Alia Atkinson, said she is humbled by the fact that she is to receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander and has promised to work even harder to promote the sport of swimming.

The award, the sixth highest honour a Jamaican national can receive, is to be presented on Jamaica's National Heroes' day on October 15, 2018.

The reigning SportsWoman of the Year is being honoured for her outstanding representation of Jamaica in the field of swimming and being the first black woman to win a World Championships title.

“So proud and humbled to be considered, much less actually be awarded a CD,” the affable Atkinson said on social media in reaction to the news.

“Swimming is blossoming once again in Jamaica and I look forward to being a part of the wave of athletes that are paving a path for the Caribbean and swimmers of colour.”

She told SportsMax.TV that she never dreamt of receiving a national honour.

“I have always wondered what path my life would take, and I still do. However, I was always told to dream big. I have been told no matter the dream, God will use you and make it incredible,” she said.

“In my wildest dreams I did not consider being in the same sentence as this accolade; nonetheless it's a testament to His promise in Ephesians 3:20; 'Dream big and He will make your dreams bigger.'”

She promised to work even harder to lift the sport of swimming and live up to what it means to be awarded the Order of Distinction.

“I just need to keep up. I will work even harder to not only promote swimming in Jamaica and the Caribbean but also work to change the society and mindset of past generations,” she said.

“Athletes can accomplish great things if we use our unique skill set for the betterment of our brothers and sisters. I am tremendously honoured to receive this distinction and I will work to always fulfil its requirements.”

The 29-year-old Atkinson, who is based in Florida, recently won three gold and two bronze medals at the CAC Games in Barranqullia, Colombia. She also holds a number of national records and short course (25m pool) world records in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

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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