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Bahamian Athlete

Athletics is a sport that has seen a number of personalities’ participation from all over the world. These personalities have not only participated but some of them have shone thus going home with gold medals among other prizes. Bahamas has not been left behind because it has produced a number of athletes who have participated in a number of Olympic events thus bringing grace to Bahamas.

Over the 50 years of Bahamas’ participation in the Olympics, over 125 Athletes have competed in seven different disciplines and its athletes have shown resilience and tenacity, a number of them winning major Olympic competitions in different categories (BOA, 2002).

Some of the Bahamian athletes include but are not limited to: Tonique-Williams Darling, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, Dwight Ferguson, Sheniqua Ferguson, Shonel Ferguson, Savatheda Fynes, Michael Mathieu, Dennis Darling, Renward Wells, Derrick Atkins, Andretti Bain, Chris Brown,, Timicka Clarke, Jackie Edwards, Timothy Munnings, Leevan Sands, Donald Thomas, Troy Kemp, Craig Hepburn and of course Renward Ricardo Wells. This paper seeks to highlight one of the Bahamian athletes showing his humble beginnings and of course his professional athletic achievements. This athlete is none other than Renward Ricardo Wells.

Early Life and Education Wells was born on 23 February 1970 in Nassau, Bahamas to his parents William Wells and Leoma Flowers. His parents were never officially married and at the age of one he went to live with his paternal grandparents in Deadman’s Cay on Long Island, Bahamas. Two years later he left to go live with his maternal grandparents on the South Andros Island in the Driggs’ Hill settlement. Around this time, neither Bahamas nor the islands had electricity or modern sewage system and therefore this shows that Wells grew up living in Spartan conditions.

In 1979, Wells was reunited with his mother, who by then had been married by another man called Yorick Smith, in Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama. Wells went to school in Driggs Hill All Age School among other schools such as Bartlette Hill Primary School, Eight Mile Rock High School and finally RM Bailey Senior High School where he graduated from in the class of 1987. He was a good leader as an active student leader, always came top of his classes and above all, he was an avid athlete.

In 1988, Wells received an athletic scholarship to attend Boise State University and left in 1989 having yet again received an athletic scholarship from University of California, Los Angeles (U. C. L. A. ). Finally, another athletic scholarship from Oral Roberts University saw Renward Wells leave U. C. L. A to join Oral Roberts University where he met Sarah Adermann, a high jumper, whom he was to marry later in 1993 and he graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1995 with a B Sc.

Degree in mechanical engineering. While in Boise State University Wells had met a girlfriend, Kimberly Markham who influenced him to develop a strong passion for music and While at Oral Roberts, Wells learnt to play the guitar and he also composed a number of Christian worship songs. Later on, Renward Wells joined Regent University Law School where he left in 2000 to go live in Coon Rapids, Minnesota together with his wife in order to raise their already growing family. Professional Athletic Achievements

Renward Wells specialized as a sprinter in 100 Meters in his entire Athletic career despite the fact that he would still participate in categories such as 400 meters among other categories. Wells participated in Carifta Games in Guadeloupe in 1986 winning a Bronze medal in the 400 meters category. He also took part in the same Carifta Games but in Jamaica, 1988 and in Barbados, 1989. While in Boise State University, Wells helped the university team to achieve the coveted Track and field Big Sky Conference title in 1989.

He also took part in the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000 besides the 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001 World Championship despite the fact that he did not reach the finals. The best time in Renward Wells’ athletic career is when he did the10. 18 seconds record in 100 meters during the 1995 World Championships which took place in Gothenburg(IAAF, 1995). Further, wells made a Bahamian national record in the 4 x 100 meters relay together with his teammates.

Finally, in 1994, Wells participated in the 200 meters at Commonwealth Games setting the fastest time record ever recorded by anyone in any condition thus winning the coveted Commonwealth All-Time Lists (Men) title. However, his athletic career was not bereft of incidences such as the 2002 controversial doping offense which saw him suspended from August 2002 to August 2004. The offense was controversial in the sense that despite the suspension, some media personalities thought that it was not justice for the athlete (IAAF, 1995).

It was only based on rumors that Wells was close friend of the Balco doping scandal culprits, Victor Conte and Patrick Arnold. It should be noted at this point in time that the performance of Wells was purely out of his hard work and his trainer coach’s (Steven Riddick who trained him from1996 to 2001) input in Virginia Beach. Conclusion It is true that the Bahamian athletes are very well paid and often there have been complaints that the athletes are over paid. The better payment has made most upcoming youth athletes to work extra hard at their trainings so as to become accomplished athletes.

It is not clear whether the good payments for athletes was Wells’ motivation but all the same he rose from Spartan conditions to work hard both in school and athletics thus emerging a celebrated 100, 200 and even 400 meters champion and an ardent mechanical engineer in the Bahamas’ Ministry of Works and Transport. References IAAF, (1995): Profile for Renward Wells, Retrieved on 11th February 2009 from http://www. iaaf. org/athletes/biographies/letter=0/athcode=9438/index. html BOA, (2002): The Bahamas Olympic Association, Retrieved on 11th February 2009 from http://www. bahamasolympic. com/BOA/boa. html

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