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Olympians Of Yesteryear To Be Honoured At CCRP Expo

June 13, 2012: While the world gears up for the 2012 Olympics in London, the Caribbean Community of Retired Persons (CCRP) will this Saturday be paying high tribute to five Jamaicans who brought home Olympic medals in the past. These "Diamonds in Jamaica Gold" are to be honoured by the CCRP at its Second Anniversary Expo, to be held in the Pegasus ballroom on Saturday June 16.

The outstanding veteran sports men and women, who will be "pinned" as well as receiving framed awards, are Dr. Cynthia Thompson, Vilma Charlton, Grace Jackson, Donald Quarrie, and Bertland Cameron.

Dr. Cynthia Thompson, OD is a Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association's (JAAA) Hall of Fame inductee, honoured as Jamaica's first female finalist in an event at the Olympics.

Her first international record was in December of 1946, at the fifth Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, when she took home a gold for the 100 metres and silver the 50 metres.

Despite arriving ill at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, Dr. Thompson reached the finals of the 100 and set an Olympic record in the 200 metres. Four years later at the sixth CAC Games in Guatemala City, she won silver in both short sprints.

Vilma Charlton, OD has to her credit over a decade of active competition at the national, regional and international levels. She represented Jamaica at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympics.

Donald Quarrie, CD, BH(M) was one of the world's top sprinters during the 1970s, competing in five Olympic games.

At the 1970 Commonwealth Games, Quarrie won the gold medal in both the 100 and 200 metres. He scored a sprint triple 1971 Pan-American Games in Colombia, adding a world record matching run of 19.8 seconds for the 200 metres. Injured  in 1972, he was only able to contest  the 200m at the Munich Olympics, and had to stop in the semis. Undaunted, he returned to the Olympic stage after winning the triple at the 1974 Commonwealth Games and after gaining top world rankings in 1975 in the 100 and 200.

In 1976, at the Montreal Olympics, he lost the 100m but triumphed in the 200, winning Jamaica’s first Olympic gold medal since 1952. He returned to take the bronze medal in the 200 in the 1980 Olympics and a silver medal in the 4x100 in 1984. During the Los Angeles Olympics he won a fourth Olympic medal with the Jamaican relay team, which finished second behind the United States.

Grace Jackson, OD competed in three Olympic Games - 1984, 1998 and 1992. In 1984 she made the finals in four events (100, 200, 4x100 and 4x400) - the first woman from the English speaking Caribbean to do so. In 1988 she captured the silver medal in the 200m and finished fourth in 100m. Her times in 100-200-400 are still in world's top five of sprinters. Ms. Jackson also won medals in the Commonwealth Games and in the CAC Championships. She retired from athletics after her 1992 Olympic effort.

Bertland Cameron, OD represented Jamaica at three consecutive editions of the Summer Olympics. He won the 400 m title at the first World Championships in Athletics. He was also the 1978 Commonwealth Games champion in the event and won a number of gold medals at regional competitions. He helped the Jamaican runners to a silver medal in the 4×400 metres relay at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Mr. Cameron carried the Jamaican flag at the opening ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. He was chosen as the Jamaica Sportsperson of the year three times consecutively from 1981 to 1983.


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