Alia Atkinson bids heartfelt farewell after fifth OlympicsSunday, July 25, 2021
TOKYO, Japan – Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson on Sunday bid an emotional farewell to her Olympics career after failing to progress beyond the heats in the 100m breaststroke at the Tokyo Games.
Atkinson finished third in her preliminary round race, but her time of 1:07:70 was not among the 16 fastest that advanced to the semifinals.
Later in the day, she delivered a heartfelt message to her fans on social media, in which she announced that she was calling time on her Olympics career after five appearances at the Games.
“It's funny. Looking back, the years went by so fast and before I realized it, I was looking at the end of it,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson, who never won a medal at the event, noted that she was asked after her final swim earlier whether she would have given “…it all up for an Olympic medal?"
“I wouldn't trade this journey for anything,” Atkinson said.
“All the ups and downs has made me who I am today ( though at times it feels like there were more downs than ups), but it taught me how to get up and God taught me how to smile through it all,” she added.
She expressed confidence that Jamaica will soon win that elusive Olympic medal in swimming.
“My x5 Olympic journey ends here, but the Olympic medal is still waiting for some Jamaican girl/boy to claim it. I know you can, so keep pushing.
“To the future Jamaican Olympic swimming medalist: I hope the road was/is less rocky for you; if so, then I have indeed succeeded. We have waited a long time for you, so thank you for staying true and carrying the fly high,” she added.
The 32-year-old, however, indicated that she wasn't ready to retire just yet, and would continue swimming on the international circuit.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login