Atkinson: Award pushing me to greater things

By October 15, 2018
Alia Atkinson with her insignia and her parents at Kings House in Jamaica on Monday. Alia Atkinson with her insignia and her parents at Kings House in Jamaica on Monday.

Jamaica’s swimming sensation Alia Atkinson says collecting a national award on Monday, is inspiring her to be even greater than she has been so far in her stellar career.

The 29-year-old Atkinson, who recently broke her own 50-metre  breaststroke short course world record at the FINA World Cup Tour, received her insignia at the National Honours and Awards held at Kings House in Kingston on Monday.

Monday, October 15, is National Heroes Day in Jamaica when scores of Jamaicans are conferred with medals in recognition of excellence in their respective fields. Atkinson received the Order of Distinction Commander Class.

“It’s beyond blessed. I don’t think it has sunk in yet what it means for Jamaica, what it means for swimming, and what it means for my family and myself as well,” she said after collecting her insignia.

“Currently, it is sort of pushing me towards becoming a little bit greater.

I need to try harder to do so many different things, whether it is promoting swimming, trying to get more people into the water, having water awareness throughout the country and just trying to bring everybody the joy that swimming has brought me.” 

Atkinson became the first black woman to win a world title in swimming when she took the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke at the Doha leg of the 2014 Short Course World Championships. It was also Jamaica’s first gold medal in swimming at the world championships.

At the World Championships (long course) in 2015, finished third in the 100m breaststroke making her the first Jamaican swimmer to win a long course worlds medal.

And just recently, Alia competed in the second cluster of the World Cup stops, including meets in Eindhoven and Budapest. In Budapest, on the last night of competition, she broke the 50 breaststroke world record, lowering her own mark by .08 from 28.64 to 28.56.



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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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