Jamaican sprint superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has confirmed that the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 will be her last.
A recent silver and bronze medal winner at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Fraser-Pryce also suffered a muscle injury at the competition and was taken to a hospital.
While the injury was not severe, and while she is expected to recover without complication, the ten-time world champion decided that the Paris Games will mark her final Olympic appearance as a track and field athlete. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce announced her decision on Facebook, posting: “I got Paris on my mind…..My 5th and final one for all time.”
Her first appeared on the Olympics stage in 2008 at the Games in Beijing, where she won her breakthrough gold medal in the 100-meter event. She defended her Olympic 100-meter title at the London Games in 2012 and took home her third Olympic gold medal in the women’s 4×100-meter relay in Tokyo in 2021 as a member of the team that set the national record for the event at 41.02 seconds.
She has a total of eight Olympic medals, including three gold. If she qualifies for the 2024 Paris and is chosen to represent Jamaica at the Games, this will be her fifth appearance at the prestigious competition. Shelly-Ann was born in Waterhouse, Kingston, Jamaica, in 1986.
She showed her talent as a sprinter at a young age, and while she was active in youth athletics during her years at Wolmer’s High School for Girls, she was uncertain about making a career in track and field. She competed in Jamaica’s famous Inter-Secondary Schools Boys and Girls Championships (Champs), however, and won a bronze medal in the 100 meters when she was 16 years of age.
Fraser-Pryce won the 200-meter title at the Jamaican Under-18 Championships in 2002 with a time of 25.35 seconds and went on to help Jamaica’s junior team win gold in the 4×100-meter relay at the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships. In 2005, she won bronze in the 100 meters at the CARIFTA Games and gold as part of the 4×100-meter relay team.
She entered global competition when she was 19 and 20, clocking consistently in the low 11-second range. A personal best time of 10.60 seconds in the 100 meters was set in 2021 when she was 34 years old. Her personal best of 21.79 in the 200 meters was set in Jamaica in 1921.
Shelly-Ann is considered one of the greatest sprinters of all time and one of track and field’s most enduring athletes. Her career spans some 15 years, and her success helped to create what is believed to be the “Golden Age” of Jamaican sprinting.
She received the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican government in 2008 in recognition of her achievements in athletics – it was upgraded to Order of Jamaica in 2022 – and was honoured with a statue at Jamaica’s National Stadium. She is the winner of the JAAA Golden Cleats Award for Female Athlete of the Year four times and was named Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year award five times.
She is also the winner of the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year in 2023.