Track Star Shelly-ann Fraser Pryce to be Honored by the University of the West Indies 

In a resplendent celebration of achievement, The University of the West Indies is set to honor the illustrious career of Dr. The Honorable Mrs. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with the Alumni Exemplar Sports Award for 2023. Tonight’s UWI Gala, marking the 75th Anniversary Celebration, becomes the backdrop for recognizing a remarkable individual whose journey has been characterized by athletic brilliance, discipline, dedication, tenacity, and sportsmanship.

Born on December 27, 1986, in Jamaica, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has etched her name in the annals of track and field history. Competing in the 60 meters, 100 meters, and 200 meters, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest sprinters of all time. Her career, spanning over a decade and a half, has been a testament to resilience, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Fraser-Pryce's impact on the track has been profound, contributing significantly to the golden age of Jamaican sprinting. In the 100 meters, her signature event, she stands as a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a five-time world champion. In the 200 meters, she boasts gold and silver from the World Athletics Championships, along with an Olympic silver medal.

Her Olympic journey is a tale of determination and success. Rising from relative obscurity at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Fraser-Pryce made history as the first Caribbean woman to win gold in the 100 meters. In the 2012 London Olympics, she achieved another milestone by becoming the third woman in history to defend an Olympic 100 meters title. Despite challenges in the 2016 Rio Olympics, she secured a bronze medal. Remarkably, at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she claimed a silver medal, becoming the first athlete to medal in the 100 meters at four consecutive Olympic Games, a testament to her enduring prowess.

Beyond the Olympics, Fraser-Pryce's dominance extends to the biennial World Athletics Championships, where she has amassed ten gold and four silver medals. Notably, she holds the record as the only sprinter to win five world titles in the 100 meters—in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2019, and 2022. Her 2019 victory was particularly historic, as she became the first mother in 24 years to claim a global 100 meters title. In 2022, at the age of 35, she further etched her name in the record books as the oldest sprinter ever to become a world champion.

Fraser-Pryce's achievements extend beyond the track, including a remarkable 2013 where she became the first woman to sweep the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4 × 100 meters at the same World Championship. Voted the IAAF World Athlete of the Year in 2013, she also won the 60 meters world indoor title in 2014, holding world titles in all four sprint events simultaneously, a feat never achieved by any other female athlete.

Nicknamed the "Pocket Rocket" for her petite stature and explosive block starts, Fraser-Pryce's personal best of 10.60 seconds makes her the third fastest woman ever. In 2022, CBC Sports recognized her as the greatest 100 meters sprinter of all time, while multiple sources, including Athletics Weekly, hailed her as the greatest female sprinter in history.

As 2023 unfolds, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce adds another accolade to her illustrious career, winning the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year. The recognition from The University of the West Indies, in the form of the Alumni Exemplar Sports Award, further solidifies her legacy as a trailblazer and an inspiration in the world of athletics.

In celebrating Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, we not only honor a remarkable athlete but also acknowledge the embodiment of excellence, perseverance, and the indomitable spirit that propels individuals to greatness. Her journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the pursuit of one's dreams against all odds. Congratulations are indeed in order for our Founder, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a true icon of sportsmanship and athletic prowess.

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