In his athletic pursuits, Special Olympian Nigel Davis has been no stranger to winning but no victory has perhaps been as sweet as the gold medal he won at the recently concluded Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.
According to Executive Director Special Olympics Jamaica, Lorna Bell, Davis who attended the School of Hope, “has been with the Special Olympics Programme since the age of 8. He has represented Jamaica and won medals in floor hockey, roller skating and football.” His road to half marathon gold in Athens, however, was not without a few disappointments.
Through an association with Debra Valentine of the Jamdammers Running Club, founders of Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10 K, Davis was introduced to long distance running, which led him to compete in the marathon even in the 2003 World Summer Games in Ireland. He did not make it to the medals podium but rather exited the field on a stretcher.
Instead of quitting, Nigel has participated in every Jamdammers road race, as well as all the Reggae Marathon events. Bell is confident that this is what made him “so was well prepared for these games”. She adds, “Nigel is a role model not only at Special Olympics but for his community of Papine” in St. Andrew.
The Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011, which ended after 10 days of competition on July 4, saw “nearly 7000 athletes from almost 180 countries” competing.