General Question

andrew's avatar

Why/how does Jamaica have such a strong sprinting team?

Asked by andrew (16353points) August 19th, 2008

I mean, we know they have a great bobsled team, but how does a small island nation have such fast people?

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11 Answers

tonystubblebine's avatar

One thing to note is that a lot of important US sprinters got caught up in the BALCO scandal (Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery in particular). So the US would look stronger if they hadn’t been ratted out.

Harp's avatar

Here’s an explanation from an article in The Guardian (UK):

“It was under British rule that Champs, a championship for the country’s top high school runners, was founded in 1910. It has developed into Jamaica’s biggest annual sporting event, attracting up to 2,000 athletes and daily sell-out crowds every year of 30,000. It is the tip of a competition pyramid that sees children across Jamaica start to take part in sprint races from the age of five. Wherever you find a piece of wasteland on the island you will inevitably see youngsters arranging impromptu races dreaming one day of making it to Champs…Every great Jamaican sprinter appears on the Champs honours list.

For decades the event was also a fertile hunting ground for United States universities who, armed with lucrative scholarships, lured the best teenagers. But they were often burnt out by coaches determined to get their money’s worth and so failed to fulfil their potential. The difference now is that if you are as talented as Bolt it is possible to stay on the island to train and travel to Europe to compete in the top meetings where you can easily earn more than a million dollars a year. By staying to work with their respective coaches, Glen Mills and Stephen Francis, Bolt and his compatriot, former world record holder Asafa Powell, have encouraged others to remain and that has helped raise the standard.”

aaronou's avatar

Ya, all of that and a little juice

simone54's avatar

Yeah def juice somehow. Come on, 9.69!

shilolo's avatar

There are no lucrative alternatives for super duper athletes, like becoming an NFL wide receiver or running back, or an NBA superstar.

MacBean's avatar

I have no answer, but I had to give shilolo lurve for using the term “super duper.”

Magnus's avatar

Just like why does Norway have such good skiers?

loser's avatar

It’s all the Red Stripe and ganja, mon!

imcrazy23's avatar

oh nice question
it make me proud to hear you americans envy my country’s top sprinters.mi love mi jamaican team inna olympics!!!! i said that in the jamaican dialect or as its called by most natives patois pronounced pat-wa. a somebody previously said it is because we started training from early so that we are faster and stronger at the races when we get older. plus that is currently the major sport in jamaica . as of now i am going to start wearing my jamaica sweaters and wave my black,green and golden flag. shut up loser, no pun or offence intended. ha ha. sorry it just had to come out. anyways i was now
thinking of changing my username to proud jamaican.

totally unrelated
also what do you think of the quote
“behaved but rebellious in spirit”
tell me what you think.

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