Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
TWO-TIME Olympic 100-metre champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has called on the Government to provide more support for Jamaica's athletes.
Fraser-Pryce, who also helped herself to a silver medal in her first shot at the 200 metres at a major international championship when she came second in the event at last month's London Olympics, said a lot of support is needed for Jamaica's junior athletes.
"We represent our country and we would love our country to represent us, in the sense that we need the support because support is a huge part of who we are," said Fraser-Pryce, who was whisked away to the VIP lounge shortly after touchdown at the Norman Manley International Airport, where she was greeted by government officials, sponsors and heads of sporting associations. Among those at the airport were Minister with responsibility for Sports Natalie Neita-Headley, Jamaica Olympic Association president Mike Fennell, Dr Warren Blake, Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association president, GraceKennedy's Tania Christie, and Tahnida Nunes of Digicel.
"I am a professional athlete and, yes, I might have money, but there are things that are needed for our younger athletes," she said. "What about our younger athletes who are coming up and are not financially stable now, those are the persons who need the support.
"I am coming from the doctor in Miami and I can tell you that treatment is expensive, especially in sports medicine," Fraser-Pryce said.
Fraser-Pryce who ended her season on August 30 with an impressive 10.83 seconds victory in the 100 metres at the Zurich Diamond League meet in Switzerland, also called on the public to show a lot more respect for the country's athletes because they have earned it.
"We deserve the respect because we work very hard for it," said Fraser-Pryce. "We, the athletes, have worked very hard and so people must appreciate us and give respect and not break us down."