Thu | Jan 17, 2019

History-making Olympian Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn

Published:Saturday | February 27, 2016 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn (second right) with supporters on nomination day.

Considering herself an unyielding soul, history-making double Olympic silver medallist Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn had no doubts that she would win a parliamentary seat as throughout life - in athletics as well as everyday pursuits - she has never settled for anything but the best.

Cuthbert-Flynn earned double Olympic silver medals in the 100m and 200m at the 1992 Barcelona Games in Spain and copped bronze four years later in Atlanta, United States, as a member of Jamaica's 4x100m women's team.

"I didn't settle for second (1992 Olympics). It is what it is. Anything that I do, anyone who knows me knows that I am going to try to do the best that I can and not going to ever do anything half and half. Never!" she stressed.

The 51-year-old on Thursday became Jamaica's first Olympian to win a seat in Parliament.

She emphatically upstaged two-time parliamentarian Paul Buchanan for the St Andrew West Rural constituency.

Cuthbert-Flynn, running in her first election, polled 9,742 votes to Buchanan's 7,517.


"I was always confident of victory because I was putting in the work. I was walking sometimes six, seven days a week, and I was walking for five to six hours a day. I walked off two pairs of sneakers. The bottoms fell off," she told The Gleaner in an interview.

Though many would consider her a celebrity and international star, Cuthbert-Flynn contends that she still joins lines in public places like banks and lives a low-key life.

"Representing your country in track and field, it's little bit different. I think it's going to be little bit different representing the people of the country in Parliament because when you are running, you're running for yourself in a lot of ways and the country gets the glory, but I think in this race and in this instance, it is a little bit different. It's not just for me. It's not really about me, It's really about the people. That's how I look at it," she pointed out.

Cuthbert-Flynn describes her journey in life as an Olympian and politician as an important one, one that has inspired and motivated people, but she adds that she now considers herself a public servant.

"I think just seeing the things that I've seen on my journey, it gives me that extra push where I must give a hundred per cent and I must do for the people. I must work for the people. There is no half and half ... I want to leave a legacy just like I have in track and field," she remarked.

"I have left a legacy in track and field that no one can ever take away from me. They can tell me that I got second, but I am in the history books forever and ever," she added.