Obadele Thompson

Even before Obadele Thompson's glory days, Barbados' Krosfyah soca band was clearly ahead of the 'track' in their tribute to the island's newest sprint sensation. "Obadele Thompson, Obadele Champion". Indeed fitting lyrics for the achievements of such a spiritually grounded and humble young man. Such is his personality that he was the only non-American to be recognised in the United States by the NCCA when he was selected as one of "Today's Top Eight". Such an accolade is usually conferred on eight of the most outstanding scholar athletes who have shown exceptional character and leadership qualities.


Oba as he is often time called, brought home glory as he sprinted his way to the finish line in the 100 metres final that was held in Sydney and captured a bronze medal that was to be heralded as Barbados' first ever medal to be won at the Olympics.


In addition to winning the Olympic 100 metres bronze medal and 4th place in the 200 metres, Oba has in the past also held the world junior 100m record, and a world record 5.99 seconds for 55 metres indoors.


This former Harrisonian was born on March 30, 1976 and received his tertiary education in marketing and economics at the University of Texas in the United States.


His Athletic Career

In 1994, Obadele became a Junior world record holder. In 1996, he came up against the likes of Michael Johnson in the 200 metres final and finished fourth.


In April 1996 in El Paso, Texas, Obadele ran the fastest 100 metre race in an unbelievable time of of 9.69 seconds.


In the 1999 World Championships, he finished fourth in both the 100 and the 200 metres.


As mentioned before, Obadele won a bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and placed fourth place in the 200 metres.


His fastest legal 100 m. is 9.87. and 200 m. personal best is 19.97 in 2000.


Hero's Welcome

The name Obadele is a Yoruha name which means 'The King arrives at home' and such was the case on October 7, 2000 when Obadele returned to his homeland Barbados from the Olympics in Sydney to a hero's welcome.


Obadele was greeted at the Grantley Adams International Airport with a red carpet and a motorcade that saw thousands of Barbadiands lining the streets in absolute anxiety and excitement as they braved the weather to get a limpse of this home-coming King.


At the special ceremony orchestrated in his honour, Obadele received a BMW convertible car from Warrens Motors, a plot of land and a diplomatic posting by the Government of Barbados among other things.


Obadele is now a Professional Athlete, Motivational Speaker and Personal Performance Consultant who now resides in Austin, Texas in the United States. On February 24, 2007, he got married to Marion Jones, a former world champion track and field athlete. They both have two (2) children together.


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