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Thread: Marlene Ottey

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Marlene Ottey

    Congrats to a great run by gold medallist Yuliya Nesterenko of Belarus in the ladies' 100 meter. I was rooting for hometown girl (Detroit) Lauren Williams, who got silver, .03 seconds back, but Nesterenko really poured it on!

    Most intriguing, though -- Marlene Ottey was there! She's 44, and has competed in every Olympics since 1980, winning a total of 8 medals. All for Jamaica. But now she is compeing for, of all places, Slovenia. Does anyone know what's the story behind that?

    Click HERE if you want to get happy.

    Mathman

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    Question

    Yes, I to, was shocked to see her there ... Being a fan of track racing, Marlene and I go way back... I also wanted to know how she's representing Slovinia... They didn't give an answer.. I can only think perhaps she works there or married a native...

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    Slovenian Connection

    FROM JAMAICA TO SLOVENIA
    She applied for Slovene citizenship after living and training in Ljubljana for the three years. She represented her new homeland at the 2003 World Championships. (ireland.com 27/12/01, Paris 2003)

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Lauren Williams is sooo cute I was kinda hoping she'd get gold.

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Most intriguing, though -- Marlene Ottey was there! She's 44, and has competed in every Olympics since 1980, winning a total of 8 medals. All for Jamaica. But now she is compeing for, of all places, Slovenia. Does anyone know what's the story behind that?

    Mathman
    I only know what the announcer said just before one of the Athens prelim races. There is some bad blood between her and Jamacain runners. A love/hate kind of thing. She was great for so long, but then used her influence to race during the Sydney Olympics when she hadn't run well enough to qualify ahead of another runner during their Nationals. She came in fourth in the race at Sydney instead of medaling. She then later admitted the other runner most likely would have done better.

    In the Athens prelim race, she was flanked by two Jamaican runners that made sure they stayed ahead of her. The looks on their faces were hysterical because it was very clear they wanted to beat her more than anyone else. They really didn't pay any attention to anyone else in that race but knew where she was at all times. They all followed up the race with a courtesy hug so it's not completely hostile.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Lauren Williams is sooo cute I was kinda hoping she'd get gold.

    Joe


    She is the sweetest little thing.....

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    Lauren Williams does seem very genuine. I loved her reaction to her silver medal. Most athletes would not have been so excited about a second place finish. She actually said she preferred her silver medal because it was worth more...the Gold was gold plated, lol! I can't wait to see what she does in the world of track. She is only 20 years old and I imagine she is going to be a major player in Beijing.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmr65
    She is the sweetest little thing.....
    But my favorite Detroit-based sprinter still has to be Evelyn Ashford. After winning the 100 meters in the 1984 Olympics she blurted out, "It's better than sex!"

    MM

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    Lauren Williams does seem very genuine. I loved her reaction to her silver medal. Most athletes would not have been so excited about a second place finish. She actually said she preferred her silver medal because it was worth more...the Gold was gold plated, lol! I can't wait to see what she does in the world of track. She is only 20 years old and I imagine she is going to be a major player in Beijing.
    That's because she has the right attitude. Athletes should be happy with ANY Olympic medal, regardless of place or color........they're one in a million.....42
    Last edited by show 42; 08-22-2004 at 08:24 PM.

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    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I would bet that because of her father's severe illness, she understands her priorities in life. She is probably so thrilled to have him alive and able to watch her medal in Athens that the color just doesn't matter. That family has endured so much, and it's incredible how they arranged in Athens for him to receive the medical care he needs to stay alive.

    I think she is going to be a major player in Beijing.

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    Originally posted by mpalI only know what the announcer said just before one of the Athens prelim races. There is some bad blood between her and Jamacain runners. A love/hate kind of thing. She was great for so long, but then used her influence to race during the Sydney Olympics when she hadn't run well enough to qualify ahead of another runner during their Nationals. She came in fourth in the race at Sydney instead of medaling
    Yes, and it was extremely controversial in Jamaica at the time, as the fresh young qualifier who everyone had bright hopes for was forced to give up her earned spot on the team. It's kinda like having Cohen, Kirk and Meissner being picked for the Olympic team (finishing top 3 at Nationals), and a 4th place Kwan protesting and taking Meissner's place (this is the unlikeliest of scenarios, but a good analogy). That turned a lot of Jamaicans against Ottey, athletes as well. After the Olympics Ottey had lost quite a bit of support from our athletics association. She married an Italian I believe, and I think that's how she came to live in Slovenia. She now has dual citizenship.

    As a Jamaican I was proud to see Merlene Ottey out there competing at the tender age of 44 and running sub-12 times. Although she is the butt of a few jokes around here in Jamaica, she is still somewhat popular, and still has a lot of respect from us, even serving as a mentor to young upcoming Caribbean track athletes. She is like the Navratilova of track and field, except not quite as successful (her nickname is the BronzeQueen afterall). She said that she would be proud if she at least made the semis, and she did just that. She's a legend that just never did get that Olympic gold, but left many memorable moments in the past. I remember for instance, an event (not sure if this was a World Championships or an Olympics), when someone false-started, but Ottey sprinting half the 100m not realising this.

    Unfortunately that young woman whose place Ottey took 4 years ago has been plagued by injuries and is struggling with her track career.

    I adore Williams' personality, and found couldn't help but when she kept on referring to Nesterenko as "the Belarus girl." Watch out for Veronica Campbell (another talented Jamaican) who came 3rd in the 100m, she could be a major factor in the 200m.
    Last edited by kappa_1; 08-23-2004 at 02:10 AM.

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    Thanks for the background kappa

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Very interesting. thanks for the link, PinkPanther.

    And welcome to the forum! Post often, OK?

    Mathman

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    I have a huge amount of respect for Merlene Ottey; I respect anyone who can stay around as long as she has and still be relatively competitive. I couldn't believe she was still competing, either; I remember her from the LA Games!! I would have loved to have seen her make the 100 final. It is my understanding that part of the reason she is now representing Slovenia is because the Jamaican federation's attitude toward her was "You're too old, get outa here." She should be revered there instead of being dismissed so casually; I think she's an inspiration.

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