Arthur Wint

Biography

Jamaican Athletes

Date of Birth (DOB): 5/25/1920
Died: 10/19/92
From: Jamaica
Best Known for: Winner of Jamaicas first Olympic Gold

Bio: Arthur Wint was born in Plowden, Manchester in 1920 the second of five children to the Rev. John Wint, a Presbyterian minister and Hilda Wint, a schoolteacher. He attended Calabar High School and Excelsior College and began competing in Track and Field. In 1937 he was the Jamaica Boy Athlete of the year, the following year he won a Gold medal in the 800 meters at the Central American Games in Panama.

In 1942 he joined the RAF and set the Canadian 400m record while training there. He was sent to Britain for active combat during WWII as a pilot. He left the RAF in 1947 to attend St. Bartholomew’s hospital as a medical student.

In 1948 Wint won Jamaica’s first Olympic gold also setting the then-World record for the 400 m (46.2 seconds) in London. In 1949 he married Norma Dorothea Marsh. He was part of the historic team setting yet another World Record while capturing the gold in the Helsinki 1952 4x400 meters relay.

He ran his final race in 1953 at Wembley Stadium, finished his internship, graduated as a doctor and the following year he was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1955 Wint returned to Jamaica eventually settling in Hanover as the only resident doctor in the parish. In 1973 he was awarded the Jamaica honour of the Order of Distinction. In 1974 he began serving as high commissioner to Great Britain. He was inducted in the Black Athlete’s Hall of Fame in the US (1977), and the Jamaica Sports Hall of Fame (1989). He passed in 1992 and was given an official state funeral attended by people from all over Jamaica and the World.

Known as the Gentle Giant (6 ft. tall) his statue stands in front of the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. He is credited for helping to put Jamaica on the map through his accomplishments as an athlete and as a diplomat. Wint’s lifelong motto was “you Makes your choices.”

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