Biography of Dr Arthur Wint: Jamaican Olympic Athlete
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April 8, 2013
Dr. Arthur Wint, Jamaican Olympic Athlete, Doctor, Ambassador
Jamaican athletes continue to be a formidable force in track events, which was true during the Olympic Summer Games in London last summer and 64 years ago in the same city. The Jamaicans Herb McKenly and Arthur Wint won gold medals in the quarter mile and 400 meter final, respectively, in the 1948 London games (Carnegie 260). These events were made more remarkable by the fact that they competed against a strong team from the United States. Four years later, at the next Olympic Summer Games in Helsinki, Jamaican George Rhoden won gold in the 400 meter final and Mckenly again came in second. Even more remarkable was the Jamaican 4 x 400 meter relay Helsinki team, made up of Arthur Wint (now 32 years old), Herb McKenly, George Rhoden, and Leslie Laing, who beat what was then considered an unbeatable 400 meter relay team fielded by the United States while setting a new world record.
When 6 foot 4 inch tall Arthur Wint won the first gold medal by a Jamaican Olympic athlete at the London Summer Games in 1948, he was already 28 years old and had seen combat as a fighter pilot for the British Air Force (Hirst, 2012). A year before the London games, Wint had begun to study medicine and became a licensed doctor a year after the Helsinki games. Following his win in Helsinki, the Queen of England made Wint a Member of the British Empire