After canvassing a field of qualified nominees for the auspicious representative and winner of Everybody’s Magazine Person of the Year title, readers overwhelmingly decided Olympian Shelly Fraser-Pryce, best suited.
Decidedly reasons for the selection must have narrowed the competition since among the finalists she was the only six-time Olympian, a tested fastest woman on earth, a wife, mother and author.
One of the readers of the magazine said: “I suggest Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, mother, sprinter and Jamaican Olympian. At age 32, Ms. Fraser-Pryce did the improbable; she won her fourth IAAF World Championship title in the 100meter dash after having a child. Not only is she a worthy competitor, she gives back to the community where she grew up. She is humble and has a beautiful spirit and a strong mind.”
The Jamaica national from the Waterhouse community in Kingston is indisputably deserving of the accolades bestowed in the last year of the decade.
According to publisher Herman Hall:
We “have observed the modesty, eloquence and optimism exhibited by Mrs. Fraser-Pryce at civic events in New York City. She is a role model for young people in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean and around the globe.”
Fraser-Pryce validated her undisputed track and field greatness at the 2019 World Athletics Championships held in Doha, Qatar. NBC Sports stated, “Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica becomes the first mom to win an Olympic or world 100m title since Gwen Torrence in 1995 and the oldest woman ever to win an Olympic or world 100m title at 32 years old.”
CNN said, “Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce further staked her claim as one of the greatest female sprinters of all time by storming to victory in the women’s 100 meters final at the World Championships in Doha.”
As a teenager, she attracted regional attention at the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (Under-17) held in Barbados when her 4x100m relay team won. In Trinidad & Tobago at the 2005 CARIFTA Games (Under-20), her 4x100m relay team emerged victorious and she placed 3rd in the 100m.
The 2007 World Championships in Japan brought Fraser-Pryce to world attention when her 4x100m relay team placed 2nd.
The following year she proved her mettle by emerging a champion in her own right at the 2008 Olympics held in China.
That victory branded her the fastest woman on earth when she won the 100m.
Together with her national colleague Usain Bolt took home fastest male and female in the world and golden medallions for the region.
Fraser-Pryce’s success continued in Germany at the 2009 World Championships where she placed first in the 100m and 4x100m.
It was not surprising that she won gold again at the 2012 Olympics held in England and the silver in the 200 meters and 4×100 meters.
Some would describe the super-achiever’s massive performances in 2013 as impressive, insurmountable and unrivaled.
However, at the Russia World Championships, she placed first in her three specialties – 100m, 200m and 4x100m.
Fraser-Pryce is the only sprinter, male or female, to win the 100m World Championships four times – 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019.
After winning the women’s 100m final in 2019, Fraser-Pryce explained her regimen for maintaining a balanced private life and public career.
“My secret is just staying humble and just know who you are as a person and athlete and just continue to work hard.”
Joined on the track by her two-year year-old son Zyon she expressed pride in being a mother.
“It’s a wonderful feeling having my son witnessing this.”
Reportedly she married her teenage sweetheart, Jason, and one day after Jamaica’s 55th year of Independence Day celebrations on Aug. 7, 2017, Zyon made his debut.
The athlete is not about to slow down in 2020. On Feb. 4 her children’s book “I Am A Promise” is due from Akashic Books.
The inspirational, picture book details her journey from Waterhouse to world domination on the track.
She is a graduate of Jamaica’s University of Technology and the University of the West Indies.
Readers, fans of the magazine’s theatrical and concert productions, placed three women on top of the list.
The other two — Barbados Prime Minister Mia Barrow and Calypso Rose, who claimed the title 41 years ago, the first year the publication initiated the annual.
More often than not, men have been named for the distinguished title.
Previous recipients include Usain Bolt, Olympian, Jumaane Williams, New York City Public Advocate, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, Clive Lloyd, West Indies cricket captain and calypsonian The Mighty Sparrow.
Among other worthy recipients — Congresspersons Shirley Chisholm and Mervyn Dymally, Sir. Arthur Lewis, Nobel Laureate, Prime Ministers Eugenia Charles, Tom Adams, Edward Seaga, Herbert Blaize and Patrick Manning.
Time Magazine chose Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, Person of the Year. She was selected for her dedication to enlightenment about climate change.
The Associated Press named Serena Williams and Lebron James, female and male athletes of the decade.
Catch You On The Inside!