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 SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Atkinson opens World Cup tour with 50m breaststroke gold Atkinson opens World Cup tour with 50m breaststroke gold

    Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson took the gold medal in her pet event, the 50m breaststroke at the opening leg of the FINA World Cup in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday.

  • ‘Worst dive’ brings Knight-Wisdom silver surprise ‘Worst dive’ brings Knight-Wisdom silver surprise

    Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom’s silver medal in the 1-metre springboard event at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru may not have been a complete surprise, but the dive he used to get him on the podium was.

    Knight-Wisdom, posted a video of a backward triple from the three-metre diving board, saying it was crazy to think this was his worst dive in the not-too-distant past.

    “Can we just take a minute to appreciate that his used to be my worst dive on 3M,” said Knight-Wisdom.

    The dive gave Knight-Wisdom 81.6 points on the 1-metre board, with one judge scoring it as a nine.

    Those points went a long way to helping Knight-Wisdom, Jamaica’s first Olympic diver, to 429.90 overall points and a silver medal.

    “Someone tell me how that’s possible please,” said Knight-Wisdom, who takes on the 3-metre event today.

    Knight-Wisdom received congratulations from the Jamaica Olympic Association and minister of sport, Olivia Grange.

    Grange said: Yona himself said his silver medal was a fitting gift for Jamaica on Emancipation Day and on behalf of the nation I wish to thank him for his historic performance.”

    Knight-Wisdom is the first diver to ever win a medal at the Pan Am games for Jamaica.

    Another medal came Jamaica’s way at the Pan Am games through an unlikely source, as super heavyweight boxer, one of the few from the island, Ricardo Brown, mined bronze.

    This wasn’t the first-ever for Jamaica, but it is the first in 16 years.

    The Jamaica Olympic Association and Jamaican trainer Dewith Frazer, were credited with helping to achieve the feat, as the two came together to put on a one-month training camp for Brown in the United States that went a long way to making him more prepared.

    "At that gym, Ricardo was able to work with boxers in his weight class and this helped him a great deal because in Jamaica there is a scarcity of boxers in that weight category,” said Leroy Brown, Jamaica Boxing Board General Secretary.

  • Jack vows to clear her name after testing positive for banned substance Jack vows to clear her name after testing positive for banned substance

    Australian swimmer Shayna Jack has vowed to clear her name after testing positive for a banned substance prior to the World Championships.

    Jack, a 4x100 metres freestyle relay gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games last year, returned an adverse result for muscle growth agent Ligandrol on June 26, prompting Swimming Australia to provisionally suspend her and fly her home from South Korea.

    The B sample also proved positive, meaning the 20-year-old could potentially face a four-year ban from the sport.

    Jack has maintained her innocence throughout and says the adverse finding "just doesn't make any sense".

    Speaking after a four-hour meeting with officials from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, she said it was a mystery how the substance got into her system.

    "It's still an ongoing investigation so we can't clear that with anyone at the moment," she stated. "We're still looking into it but we're not going to leave any stone unturned.

    "I'm really happy with how everything is going and I'm not going to stop until I prove my innocence.

    "I will fight to get back into the pool because that's my dream and I'm never going to let that go."

    In an Instagram post, Jack also discussed the impact the situation has had on her.

    She wrote: "I feel a sense of emptiness. I think of what I have worked so hard for all being taken away from me, and I had done nothing wrong.

    "Ever since I was 10 years old, I have wanted to be on the Australian swim team, to represent my country. I never swam for the medals; they were always an added bonus. I swam for the feeling you get when you stand behind the blocks in a gold cap. The feeling you get when you race in a relay with a group of amazing women and feel a sense of purpose and success.

    "I pride myself on being the woman that young girls look up to and want to be like, not for the medals I win, but for the way I present myself day in, day out, around the pool and in everyday life.

    "Now I feel like that can all be taken away because of some sort of contamination; no athlete is safe from the risks of contamination.

    "Reminding myself of why I swim and why I want to be in the Australian team is what has kept me fighting. The day I found out was the day I began my fight to prove my innocence.

    "Myself, along with my lawyer, management team, doctor and family have been working continuously to not only prove my innocence but to try to find out how this substance has come into contact with me, to ensure it doesn't happen to anyone else, as I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy.

    "Every day I wake up and have a rollercoaster of a day. Some days I am okay and others I am not.

    "This will be an ongoing challenge, not only with trying to prove my innocence to ensure I can get back to training for the dream I have had since I was a little girl, but also the challenge of facing judgement from people who don't know me; people who will just assume the worst."

    Jack also claimed two silver medals and two bronze in relay events at the 2017 World Championships.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.