Sportswoman of the Year Alia Atkinson speechless over Iconic Award

By January 20, 2019
Jamaica's Sportswoman of the Year Alia Atkinson and her mom, Sharon, after the awards ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus on Friday night. Atkinson was winning the award for the third time. Jamaica's Sportswoman of the Year Alia Atkinson and her mom, Sharon, after the awards ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus on Friday night. Atkinson was winning the award for the third time.

Despite her keenly developed sense of humility, Alia Atkinson must have known she was favoured to win her third RJR Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year at the Jamaica Pegasus on Friday night.

No matter how humble, Jamaica’s doyen of swimming must have known that her two gold medals at the World Swimming Championships in China last December, her eight gold medals on the FINA World Cup tour and lowering her own world record from 28.64 to 28.56 in Budapest last October, put her head-and-shoulders above the other nine nominees.

Add to that, three CAC gold medals and winning Jamaica’s first ever medal in swimming at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018, and you get a sense of how good a year 2018 was for the 30-year-old Jamaican star, who in 2014 became the first black woman in history to win a world swimming title.

However, she was truly nonplussed when she the Gleaner Iconic Award, reserved for those whose body of work exemplifies excellence. In winning, she joined a pantheon that includes Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and legendary coaches Glen Mills and Stephen Francis.

“Truly, I am speechless over the Iconic Award because that is something I see for mature adults, even though I am, but I think somebody who has done the work, has given their time and effort and has changed the sport. But, when I look back on it, I have,” she told Sportsmax.TV shortly after the awards ceremony ended after midnight.

“So the humility does play a part in everything I say and my actions and its good to see somebody support that and see it. So that was really cool.”

The Iconic Award included Atkinson took home five trophies on Friday – Sportswoman of the Year, her third; the People’s Choice Award for her world record performance in Budapest, a world-record award, and the Aquatic Athlete of the Year.

In was a special night Atkinson, who by her actions has cemented herself as a Jamaican great after having what was perhaps her best year as a swimmer. She set a world record for the third time, winning the Sportswoman of the Year for the third time, all at the grand old age of 30.

She did not know just how to describe the feeling.

“I think for me it’s more of finalising and symbolising the three, having the big 30 and still be on top, having the defending titles and having this (the trophy) for the third time, I really don’t know the words,” she said.

 

 

 

 

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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