Fri | Jul 10, 2020

Two-time Olympic weightlifter dies

Published:Friday | January 4, 2019 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/ Gleaner Writer
Calvin Stamp

Calvin Stamp, Jamaica's finest performer in Olympic weightlifting, is dead. Stamp reportedly perished in a car crash in Atlanta late in December. The 60-year-old Jamaican competed in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

At the time of his passing, Stamp was the throwing coach at Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia, where he tutored many students, including his daughter Natasha, who is now a student-athlete at the University of Southern California.

Stamp, a graduate of St Andrew Technical High School, represented Jamaica in Los Angeles, where he was ninth overall in the heavyweight category. He returned to place 11th in the superheavyweight division in 1988. No Jamaican has competed in Olympic weightlifting since then.

Stamp is the only Jamaican weightlifter to compete in two Olympic Games. He also won bronze medals in the 1983 and 1987 Pan-American Games, in the 110 kg category in the first instance and four years later as a superheavyweight.

Stamp and Don Heron, a silver medallist in 1951, are the only Jamaican podium placers in Pan-Am Games history.

He competed at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, placing seventh in the snatch.

Known as an inspirational figure, Stamp has often been quizzed on Jamaica's success in sprinting. In one interview, he pinpointed desire as the key factor.

"Desire. For kids looking for a way up, athletics is one way to go. There is nowhere for the people to go but up. The kids are hungry to succeed. When they train, they work hard and won't quit until they are told to go home. Once home, they keep training," he said.

When he wasn't coaching, Stamp worked for XPO Logistics in Atlanta as a consultant.