Traditionally the term Rocket refers to an inanimate object that scientists have tried to perfect in high-tech laboratories around the world, but in this island of 2.7 million people situated in the Caribbean Sea, it also defines our own original rocket, a diminutive yet extraordinary woman whose meteoric rise in the past half-decade has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Dubbed the ‘Pocket Rocket’ for her petite frame (she stands 5 feet tall) and explosive starts, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is a pint size powerhouse who can not only rock any track meet but also has the ‘flyest’ hairdo thanks to her Chic tresses which, like their owner, skyrocketed to fame in the recent 2013World Championship when ‘pink became the new black’!
Five years ago, she made history when she broke the USA’s dominance on the 100M sprint event and earned herself an Olympic gold in that discipline. Life for the then 21 year-old unknown athlete would never be the same. Billboards, endorsements, money and fame would follow her but through it all she kept her head firmly on her shouldersand her eyes on the starter’s block, following a rigorous training regime coupled with a gruelling university schedule as she persevered despite all the odds. And persistent she was!
Double winner of the prestigious Golden Cleats Award for Female Athlete of the Year, Shelly-Ann became the first Caribbean woman to win 100m gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Four years later she successfully defended her 100m title, becoming the third female to win two consecutive 100m events at the Olympics. She also won the 100m gold medal in the 2009 IAAF World Championships, becoming the second female sprinter to hold both World and Olympic 100m titles simultaneously (after Gail Devers). In 2013 she also became the first female sprinter to win gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in a single world championship. She is ranked fourth on the list of the fastest 100m female sprinters of all time, with a personal best of 10.70 seconds; recently she got some new ‘bling’ and went down in history as the second female to hold both the 100 and 200M Diamond League titles in one season.