Merlene Joyce Ottey was born in Jamaica on May 10, 1960 and has proven to be a woman of immeasurable, determination, stamina and raw undiluted power. She has been representing Jamaica on the international stage since the 1979 Pan American Games and later on in 1980 when she represented Jamaica at the Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia.
Ottey like many Jamaicans was born into a humble family and was introduced to the sport of Track and Field by her mother in the 1970’s. Her love and fascination in the sport grew tremendously when she absorbed the glory of Donald Quarrie competing abroad for the glory of his home. The love continues to grow and she moved to the U.S. and attended the University of Nebraska where she was a member of the track team and she eventually returned to JA to represent the island nation abroad.
Now that the background is out of the way lets get into the reason why the woman dubbed as the “Queen of the Track” is someone Jamaica must never forget.
For mor than two decades this fabulous woman has poured her heart and soul into her passion and broad glory again and again to our small island. She did her best and never failed to try, however she was up against substances that she could have never imagined.
She was for the most part third cross the line, in fact it became so frequent that she was crown “Bronze Queen”. Regardless she was not deterred nor intimidated by her intoxicated rivals. She fought and won every time for Jamaica and her people who surprisingly joined in the Bronze Queen foolishness. She could have had a family but she was already giving all her care the what she loved most, the track.
Merlene Ottey is to many Jamaicans a hero, the one who fearlessly defied the odds and relentlessly reached for the celestial outliers in her quest for fulfillment. She is a woman of class, vigor and virtue. She represents the spirit Jamaicans seem to have long forgotten, the spirit of ‘likkle an tallawah’ the priceless knowledge of knowing that despite the odds yes you can.
So as Jamaica celebrates 50 years of political “independence” we must keep in mind that like Merlene we mus never give up on our dreams and always give it our all.
BIG UP, Merlene Ottey!!!!!!