Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Maquette reflects SFP's strength, determination

Published:Sunday | June 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange (centre), sculptor Basil Watson (left) and Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the unveiling of a maquette of the statue of the athlete at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday.
Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce poses with the maquette of her statue. It was unveiled at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday.
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Before he unveiled the maquette of the statue that will immortalise the achievements of two-time Olympic 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (SFP), sculptor Basil Watson said that his intention was to show the determination the diminutive athlete depicted when she crossed the line first in the 100m final at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

"What I wanted to display in the sculpture was that determined, strong, powerful, exuberant, young girl that I saw in 2008," Watson said yesterday at the unveiling, which took place at The Jamaica Pegasus.

"She showed a determination and a spirit that I wanted to capture, and I hope that I have done so," he added.

That look of determination reflected the hardships Fraser-Pryce endured as a young girl growing up in the inner-city community of Waterhouse.

In her address to the small gathering of family, friends, and well-wishers in the Port Antonio Suite at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Fraser-Pryce said that her early life was tough.

"I remember growing up in Waterhouse. I remember sleeping on one bed with my mother and my two brothers, and I remember questioning why it was that I was poor. Why is it that I never had the family structure that everybody else had when I was going to school? Why is it that life was so complicated and so hard?" Fraser-Pryce recalled. "But today, I know why. Who I am and the strength that I possess, and the qualities that I now have, are because of where I am coming from and how my mother raised me."

She continued: "Sometimes when things happen in our lives, we question them and we ask why, but at the end of the day, these are things that will ultimately lead us to our purpose and our goals and what God set out for us to achieve."

The finished product, which is sponsored by the Sports Development Foundation, will be erected in Statue Park at Independence Park Limited in October this year, Sports Minister Olivia Grange said.

"The statue is at the wharf here and will be cleared next week. It will be erected in Statue Park close to the (Usain) Bolt statue," Grange said.

The Fraser-Pryce statue is one of four commissioned by Grange last year to honour the achievements of Bolt, Fraser-Pryce, Asafa Powell, and Veronica Campbell Brown.

"Statues in honour of these athletes represent a major part of the Government's Jamaica 55 legacy programme. We conceptualised the legacy programme to preserve our culture for future generations," Grange said.