The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says that the statue in honour of Veronica Campbell-Brown at the National Stadium is a fitting tribute to an outstanding athlete.
The Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, unveiled the statue of the Olympic and World Champion sprinter on Sunday.
The statue was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport as a Jamaica 55 Legacy Project to celebrate the country’s glorious heritage in track and field.
In her tribute to Veronica Campbell-Brown at the unveiling of the statue, Minister Grange said that “VCB will always be remembered as a young woman of no mean order, one who was always able to draw on her inner strength and come through with literally flying colours when her country and fellow athletes demanded it.”
Since 1997, VCB has won 49 medals, including 27 gold, representing Jamaica in international competitions. During her glittering career, she became the first Jamaican to win a global 100 metres title, the first woman to win the sprint double at the IAAF World Junior Championships, the youngest Jamaican woman to win an Olympic medal, the first Caribbean woman to win an Olympic sprint title, among other achievements.
Minister Grange said:
“Not many of our athletes can speak to the longevity and consistency of VCB. From her earliest days as a teenager blazing on the tracks of the regional championships and then at the National Stadium, representing her school, Vere Technical, in Girls’ Champs, to even this point in her life, she has had a long and distinguished career for which she must be justly proud. Some of us have been able to watch her grow through junior, youth and professional athletics.
In every sphere of competition, VCB stood out. She stamped her class in every arena of local, national and global sport.”
The statue in tribute to Campbell Brown — to the scale of one and quarter life size — has been mounted at Statue Park in the National Stadium beside the statue of her role model, Merlene Ottey.
The VCB statue is the third of four designed by Basil Watson for the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
The first two statues of Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were unveiled in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The statue of Asafa Powell, the last in the series, will be unveiled in 2020.