A full day of CARIFTA 50th Golden Jubilee celebrations wrapped up with the relaunch of Legends Walk leading up to the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium on Thursday.
The day started off with an international press conference, officially cementing the staging of the 50th CARIFTA Games in New Providence, The Bahamas. It will coincide with the nation’s 50th Independence celebrations and the 50th anniversary of CARICOM.
Olympians Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Steven Gardiner and Anthonique Strachan got their moments on the “walk” last evening, as they were revealed as the latest installments on display. Full life-like portraits of the trio, drawn by His Excellency Jamaal Rolle, known as the Celebrity Artist, were revealed.
Rolle is The Bahamas’ Ambassador for Cultural Affairs.
As for Miller-Uibo, Gardiner and Strachan, they now join 66 other Bahamian sports legends on Legends Walk – a picturesque pathway leading to the national stadium.
The original photos on Legends Walk were destroyed by the passing of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Miller-Uibo, Gardiner and Strachan were not included in the original layout on Legends Walk and, despite all three being young at the time, it was a glaring omission as all three had achieved global success.
The recognition for the Olympic heroes Thursday evening appeared to be long overdue.
At the time of the original layout, Strachan was already a double sprint world junior champion and Miller-Uibo was a world youth and world junior champion. Gardiner was a semifinalist at the world junior championships. All three had already represented The Bahamas globally at the senior level, particularly Miller-Uibo who won the silver medal in the women’s 400 meters (m) at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China, and was fourth in the women’s 200m at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
Today, Miller-Uibo is a two-time Olympic Champion in the women’s 400m, joining Marie-José Pérec, of France as the only women to ever win multiple Olympic titles in that event. Miller-Uibo is also the second woman ever, and second athlete ever, to win all of the global titles in an individual event in athletics, joining former great Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva. She completed the feat by taking the world championships title in Eugene, Oregon, this year.
Gardiner is a former world and current Olympic Champion in the men’s 400m. Due to UTE (Ultrashort Echo Time) tendon inflammation, Gardiner was unable to defend his world title in Eugene this year, but vows to be back in 2023. Gardiner, who also won a silver medal in the men’s 400m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, and who has relay gold, silver and bronze at the world level, is listed as the number six quarter-miler of all-time, and the top Caribbean athlete, on World Athletics Top Performance List.
Strachan achieved most of her medal success at the world level on the junior side, but has also represented The Bahamas at a number of senior international meets including the NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean) Championships, the Pan Am Games, the world championships and the Olympics. She ran a blazing personal best in the 100m this year, clocking 10.98 seconds, just missing a qualifying spot for what would have been her first global final in an individual event on the senior side.
There are now 69 athletes on Legends Walk leading up to the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.