Authur Wint

Arthur Stanley Wint (May 25, 1920 – October 19, 1992) was the first Jamaican Olympic gold medalist, to win the 400m at the 1948 Olympics. Arthur Wint, known as the Gentle Giant, was born in Plowden, Manchester, Jamaica. While at Calabar High School, he ran the sprints and did both the high jump and long jump. He later was transferred to Excelsior High School and completed his high school education there. He was the Jamaica Boy Athlete of the year in 1937, the following year he won a gold medal in the 800m at the Central American Games in Panama.

In 1942, he joined the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and set the Canadian 400m record while training there. He was sent to Britain for active combat during the World War II as a pilot. He left the Royal Air Force in 1947 to attend St Bartholomew’s Hospital as a medical student.

In 1948, his running climax when he won Jamaica’s first Olympic gold in the 400m in 46.2 seconds in London, beating his team-mate Herb McKenley. In 800m he won silver after American Mal Whitfield. He probably missed his third medal in London Games by pulling a muscle in the 4 x 400 m relay final.

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

He ran his final race in 1953 at Wembley Stadium, finished his internship, graduated as a doctor and the following year he was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. 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 honor 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).

Arthur Wint died at the age of 72 on Jamaica Heroes Day in Linstead, St. Catherine. Dr. Arthur Wint (MBE) set the precedence for all the great Jamaican athletes that followed after him.

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