Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Homeless former Olympian Wants to Start Foundation for Athletes

Published:Thursday | January 19, 2017 | 1:00 AMTamara Bailey
MCKOY

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

The story of Olympian Olivia McKoy, who represented the country as a veteran javelin thrower across the world, but who, a few years later, ended up living on the streets, is certainly not new.

But while some persons have reached out and tried to assist her, McKoy says it is oftentimes temporary and she ends up right back where she started - on the streets.

It is to this end that she has decided to start a foundation to first help herself and then the numerous athletes she says have been left behind.

"I would like to start my own foundation, the 'Olivia's Foundation', in aid of myself first and my endeavours and then extending it to athletes in need, who have fallen on hard times," McKoy told Rural Xpress.

She added: "At this point, I just want to start something that we as athletes can believe in and trust ... I know a lot of athletes, they don't talk, but a lot of them are living in adverse situations, a lot of them are homeless like myself, but they don't tell you," McKoy lamented.

She added: "... I decided to come to the light and put myself out there, but you have retired athletes who are suffering right now, they have worked all their lives running, but now they have to hold a full-time job, that is added stress when they should be retiring ... it's something that should be looked at, where a pension plan can be given to athletes."

McKoy expressed that her call on the powers that be is almost cliche at this point, and is of the view that she should be the change she wishes to see.

"I want to start an account at NCB so persons can make donations. I would run it, I don't know any other name to call. I don't know what others are about, but I know what I'm about ... the politicians don't care, I hear I'm mad, insane ... but the wisdom of God is foolishness to the unwise."

McKoy said people on the streets tend to be labelled as mad, but she explained that the situations are oftentimes much deeper than mere insanity.

UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATION

"Let me tell you about the-on-the street thing; if you are living in an uncomfortable situation... A lot of people will stay in the abusive relationships, the abusive homes, and they just live that way. I didn't have anywhere to live, didn't have any money to pay rent. I worked it out with my son in the parks and markets until better come. A lot of men were calling me to live in their homes, but I know what that was gonna lead to," said McKoy.

She noted that her foundation would also help athletes better their craft.

"This would help athletes who are not in a structured programme, who want to harness their talents and skills in whichever event of their choice. Since I live in Mandeville here, I would think to use Brooks Park for training."

McKoy may be contacted at (876) 565-8906.

rural@gleanerjm.com