On top of the world: Alia “Swimming Solo” Atkinson

Friday, December 14, 2018

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Dear Editor,

This letter congratulates Alia “Swimming Solo” Atkinson for her significant achievement in global swimming. Her patriotism, hard work and spirit of endurance contributed to her superlative achievements in that sport, especially in this last quarter of 2018.

Just to reminder that she is the world record holder of the 50m breaststroke (28.56). “Fantastic Alia” ( Jamaica Observer, November 18, 2018) gives an account of her extraordinary incredible victory in the 100m breaststroke and in the 50m event (28.93sec) in what was described as a fast race at the World Cup in Singapore. This time she was not “swimming solo” and was accompanied by fellow Jamaican Breanna Roman in the short course. This was a monumental moment in history for both Alia and Jamaica. But, in growing older, she is like fine wine; she gets better as she ages, this not just an aside but a fact of her experience in the swimming.

She fought hard, was not deterred, discouraged or even frightened by the hard times that confronted her, but with a supportive family and patriotism she remained committed to her country, unwavering, resolute and persistent towards her goals in swimming.

Her characteristics of being the committed, hard fighter unfolded in the highly competitive 50 m breaststroke title at Short Course Worlds held in China. “Finally” ( Jamaica Observer, December 13, 2018) registers the account of her astonishing, brilliant, incredible and marvelous victory at the short course in what the newspaper describes as a “moderate 29.05”. She is, indeed, one of those people whose “morning arrive in the afternoon”. She is at the pinnacle of her career with more years and tremendous victories ahead. Her time has come; her waves of twilight rays will have to wait for a while.

She is not only a fine athlete, but a most perceptive, intelligent and articulate spokesperson. In an interview, titled “Swimming solo”, she spoke with passion about her sport and the loneliness, in terms of the lack of more Jamaicans and participants for the black world in global swimming. This condition left her with the feeling “swimming solo”. Even after the Olympics she will continue to make huge contribution to swimming as a sport and also to her country, and the black world. There is no doubt that she will make a most impressive ambassador for our country and the kind role model that will inspire many toward positive things for self and country.

I wish her the best and continued success.

Louis E A Moyston


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