Arthur Wint
OD MBE
Wint wins the 1948 Olympic 400 m final
Personal information
NationalityJamaican
Born(1920-05-25)25 May 1920
Plowden, Jamaica[1]
Died19 October 1992(1992-10-19) (aged 72)
Linstead, Jamaica
Height194 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight77 kg (170 lb)
Military career
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Sport
SportRunning
Event(s)400 m, 800 m ran in London
ClubPolytechnic Harriers, Westminster[1]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)400 m – 46.2 (1948)
800 m – 1:48.9y (1951)[1]
Medal record
Representing Jamaica Jamaica
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1948 London 400 metres
Gold medal – first place 1952 Helsinki 4×400 m relay
Silver medal – second place 1948 London 800 metres
Silver medal – second place 1952 Helsinki 800 metres
Central American and Caribbean Games
Gold medal – first place 1938 Panama 800 metres
Gold medal – first place 1946 Barranquilla 400 metres
Gold medal – first place 1946 Barranquilla 800 metres
Gold medal – first place 1946 Barranquilla 4×400 m relay

Arthur Stanley Wint OD MBE (25 May 1920 – 19 October 1992) was a Jamaican Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot during the Second World War, sprinter, physician, and later High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Competing at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics, whilst a medical student at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, he won two gold and two silver medals, becoming the first Jamaican Olympic gold medalist.[2][3][4]

Biography

Arthur Wint, known as the Gentle Giant, was born in Plowden, Manchester, Jamaica. While at Calabar High School, he ran sprints and did both the high jump and long jump. He later transferred to Excelsior High School, where he finished his secondary education. In 1937 he was the Jamaica Boy Athlete of the year, and the following year won a gold medal in the 800 metres at the Central American Games in Panama.[1] Saving the money for his flight to europe

In 1942 he joined the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and set the Canadian 400-metre record while training there. He was sent to Britain for active combat during World War II as a pilot.[1] He left the Royal Air Force in 1947 to study medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, through the British further education and vocational training scheme for ex-servicemen.[1][5]

In the 1948 London Games, Wint won Jamaica's first Olympic gold medal for the 400 metres (46.2 seconds), beating his team-mate Herb McKenley. In the 800 metres he won silver, after American Mal Whitfield's gold. Wint missed a probable third medal when he pulled a muscle in the 4 × 400 metres relay final.[1]

In Helsinki in 1952 he was part of the historic team setting the world record while capturing the gold in the 4 × 400 metres relay. He also won silver in the 800 metres, again coming second to Mal Whitfield.[1]

Wint ran his final race in 1953 at Wembley Stadium, finished his internship, and graduated as a doctor. The following year he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1954 New Year Honours.[6] In 1955 Wint returned to Jamaica, eventually settling in Hanover as the only resident doctor in the parish. In 1973 he was awarded the Jamaica honour of the Order of Distinction. He served as Jamaica's High Commissioner to Britain and ambassador to Sweden and Denmark from 1974 to 1978. He was inducted in the Black Athlete's Hall of Fame in the US (1977), the Jamaica Sports Hall of Fame (1989) and the Central American & Caribbean Athletic Confederation Hall of Fame (2003).[1]

Death and legacy

Wint died on Heroes Day in Linstead, aged 72.[1] His funeral was attended by hundreds of people, including the Jamaican Prime Minister.[7] In 2012, a Blue Heritage Plaque was unveiled at 22 Philbeach Gardens in Earls Court, London, where he lived while studying medicine.[8] At the same event, his daughter launched her book about him, titled The Longer Run.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Arthur Wint at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com (archived)
  2. ^ "Arthur WINT". Olympics.com. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  3. ^ Cooper, David K. C. (2014). Doctors of Another Calling: Physicians Who Are Known Best in Fields Other than Medicine. Newark: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 421. ISBN 978-1-61149-466-2.
  4. ^ "Jamaica's first gold medallist Arthur Wint remembered". BBC News. 23 October 2021. Archived from the original on 13 November 2022. Retrieved 13 November 2022.
  5. ^ Braithwaite, Lloyd (2001). "Foreword". Colonial West Indian Students in Britain. University of the West Indies Press. pp. vii. ISBN 978-976-640-052-1.
  6. ^ UK list: "No. 40053". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1953. p. 26.
  7. ^ Arthur Wint. wintworks.com
  8. ^ a b "Jamaica's Gentle Giant Honoured in London – Jamaica Information Service". jis.gov.jm. Archived from the original on 13 November 2022. Retrieved 13 November 2022.

Further reading