Mon | Mar 8, 2021

Nieto given IOC’s President’s Award

Published:Friday | July 31, 2020 | 12:29 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) bestowed the President’s Award on former national hurdler Shevon Nieto yesterday.

The two-time Olympian was recognised by the federation for her athletic career, which honoured “the path and fight of an Olympian”.

Nieto celebrated her achievement on Instagram, thanking IOC president Thomas Bach for recognising her Olympic journey.

“Before you become an Olympian, you’re someone with a dream,” she said. “Someone who believes, despite what anyone says or how small the odds are, that they can achieve their goal at being one of the world’s best. This task takes courage, determination, resilience, and an endless measure of fortitude. Achieving this accomplishment has helped to shape my life not only as an athlete, but as a person.”


Among those to whom she expressed gratitude were her husband, American high jumper Jamie Nieto, who has been paralysed since a training accident in 2016. She ended her statement with words of encouragement for those who wish to embark on the same path.

“This journey has prepared me for the most important race, which is life’s race,” she said. “So remember this, it’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s about the lessons learned and the fight that truly makes you a champion.”

Nieto, 37 years old, made Jamaica’s Olympic team in back-to-back Games in 2004 and 2008. During her career, she won bronze at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2005 and was part of the quartet that took silver at the meet a year later.

Olympians Association of Jamaica president Marvin Anderson congratulated Nieto on her award and said that the recognition was well deserved and reflected the strong values of the Olympic movement.

“Mrs Nieto has embodied the true ideals of Olympism,” he said. “Her perseverance and commitment continue to illustrate that her contributions are not only limited to her exploits on the field, but that she continues to champion the spirit of humanity. The OAJ salutes her achievement and hopes that her story continues to inspire others.”