Veronica Campbell-Brown (pictured) owns the distinction of being one of the most-decorated Track and Field athletes of all times. She is part of a handful of athletes that has won world championships at all levels and continues to remain a favorite to collect more. On Thursday, Campbell-Brown turns 32 years of age today as this native of Jamaica continues to inspire fans in her country and abroad.
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Campbell-Brown was born to parents Cecil Campbell and Pamella Bailey in Clarks Town, Trelawny Parish. Campbell-Brown’s family is large, as she is one of 10 children. Campbell-Brown began her winning ways at the age of 17 at the 1999 IAAF World Youth Championships and gained two gold medals in 100m and 4 x 100m relay events. In 2000, she became the first woman to win the “sprint double” at the IAAF games, winning the 100m in 11.12 seconds and the 200m in 22.87 seconds. Her 100m time at the games is the current championship record.
Campbell-Brown ventured to America to advance herself academically and continue with sports, attending Barton County Community College in Kansas before heading to the University of Arkansas. Her time in college was fruitful on all fronts, and she won for national junior college titles in a variety of events.
Campbell-Brown then competed at the 2000 Summer Olympics, winning her first medal in the 4 x 100m relay alongside with Tayna Lawrence, Beverly McDonald, Merlene Frazer and Merlene Ottey. Although Barbados took home the gold in the event, the team’s silver medal win placed them on the world stage. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Campbell-Brown made history by becoming the first Caribbean woman in history to win an Olympic title in a sprint event. She dominated the 200m event, vanquishing crowd favorite Allyson Felix.
Watch Veronica Campbell-Brown winning the 200m event at the 2004 Olympics here:
During the 2004 Summer Games as well, Jamaica won the title in the 4 X 100m relay event, which was the first time the nation has ever done so. Campbell-Brown continued her winning streak at various events, and even though she ran in to some issues for the 2008 Summer Olympics, she was triumphant there once more in winning gold in the 200m event.
With 19 gold medals, 16 silver medals, and three bronze medals, there may not be a mantle big enough to hold all of Campbell-Brown’s winnings. After some legal issues that have since been overturned, Campbell-Brown is making a return to competition to add to her already impressive list of wins.
Happy Birthday to the pride of Jamaica, Veronica Campbell-Brown!