Mayhew gets heroes’ welcome at Charlemont High
Charlemont High School gave Daniel Mayhew a hero's welcome for his performance at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway recently, with an open march celebration at the Linstead-based institution on Monday.
The march started almost on the highway and the students travelled for little over a mile en route to the school, where the 17-year-old got an even greater reception from the waiting school populace, with banners and pictures of his achievement decorating the school.
Mayhew became Jamaica's first Junior Winter Olympics representative, finishing a creditable 13th in the monobob competition at the Games.
"I thank Charlemont High School for putting it (celebration) on. The feeling I got was extraordinary, I felt so happy knowing I wasn't a winner on the podium and I come home a winner because of the support everyone has shown me," said Mayhew.
"I didn't think it (participation) would have led to this and all what took place, so everything has been unexpected. I am really surprised, I didn't know that anything like this was going to happen," he exclaimed.
"From the moment I came through the airport, my family and school was there cheering me on, and it was just a feeling of excitement and feeling good to know my school can support me like this; whatever happened, they still have me as a winner, and I feel good to know I can make my country proud and my family and school happy," he told The Gleaner.
Mayhew, who has only been in the sport for over a year now, revealed that the track was not the best.
"The environment at the track wasn't perfect to get the best times. All the competitors' times were slower than their best in training, so that really affected everyone. But I tried my best although the track wasn't the best, but it wasn't enough to win the race.
"But I am 13th in the world, and that is awesome," he beamed.
"A lot of support was there. There were few Jamaicans, but everyone supported me because they love Jamaicans, and that was one of the factors that caused me to get my best time, and I really feel good and hope for the best in the future," he continued.
"My motivation is to make everyone proud and put my best in everything I do. I feel I can make it. I know I have the potential as I am doing the sport for 12 months and qualified for the Youth Olympics with lack of training and factors needed to perfect the sport.
"But I am going somewhere in life, and that's a challenge. I will keep on doing what I am doing to make everyone proud," he said.