Today would have been the 72nd Birthday of Jamaica’s 1st
Olympic gold medalist, Arthur Wint. He won the Olympic Gold in the 1948 Olympic Games in the 400 meter dash.
Arthur Wint’s name came into prominence when in 1937 he was selected as the Jamaica Boy Athlete of the Year. A year after being selected he then went on to win 800 meter gold at the Central American Games.
Unfortunately, World War II started and his career took a hiatus. In 1942 he joined the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was sent to train in Canada. He career kicked back up while in Canada as he then set a Canadian 400 meter record.
After completing his training in Canada was completed, Won’t was them sent to Britain for active duty as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. After that in 1947, Wint attended St. Bartholomew’s Hospital as a medical student where his career was at another stand still.
Finally in 1948, Wint returned to the international athletics scene. This was just in when Jamaica competed at the Olympics for the first time as an independent sovereign nation.
At the 1948 Olympic Games, Wint won Jamaica’s first Olympic gold in the 400 meter dash… Go figure, a sprinting event. Furthermore, Wint beat out his team mate Herb McKenley.
In the 800 meter dash, Wint won the silver medal and missed his third medal when he pulled a muscle in the 4×400 final.
Wint later went on to medal Gold and Silver four years later at the Helsinki Games, among other victories. He also became Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Britain and from 1974-78, he served the ambassador to Sweden and Denmark.
Wint was inducted in the Black Athlete’s Hall of Fame in the US in 1977, the Jamaica Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Central American and Caribbean Athletic Confederation Hall of Fame in 2003.
400 – 46.2 (1948)
800 – 1:48.9y (1951)