CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA – Saint Lucia’s international high jumper Levern Spencer returned home last Thursday April 19, 2018 to a heroine’s welcome, after creating history by becoming the first Saint Lucian to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
The 33-year-old was met by her family, government dignitaries, and sporting officials, when she arrived at the Hewanorra International Airport.
Among the government officials in attendance were Acting Prime Minister Stephenson King, Minister of Sports Lennard Montoute, and Minister for Local Government and Culture Fortuna Belrose, who is also the President of the Saint Lucia Olympic Committee.
Following a short welcome ceremony at the Hewanorra International Airport, a motorcade accompanied Spencer back to Castries, where a celebration ceremony was held in the Derek Walcott Square.
During her remarks, Belrose said Levern had made Saint Lucia proud and had set the island apart from all other countries formerly ruled by Britain.
“For our country, at this time, you have emphasized the attributes and values we need to maintain and inculcate for sustainable success for our people. You have also through this brought our reality as a people and nation into sharp focus,” Belrose said.
Levern is the only athlete in the Caribbean to win gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games, Pan American Games, and Commonwealth Games, respectively.
Not even Usain Bolt has done that, as he did not compete in neither the Pan Am or Commonwealth Games, making Levern Spencer’s feat unique in the Caribbean for both men and women athletes.
Acting Prime Minister Stephenson King, said the government was proud of, and stands behind Spencer in providing more support as she continues to pursue her sporting career.
King said Levern continues to be an icon who young Saint Lucians should look up to for inspiration and motivation.
Spencer said she started this sporting season very apprehensive after being forced out of competition due to injury last year. She said this homecoming felt extra special for her.
“I am glad that one of my big sporting dreams have now been realised in that after two previous bronze medals in 2010 and 2014, I brought home a Commonwealth gold medal, something I will forever cherish,” Spencer said.
Spencer dedicated her victory to Saint Lucia, saying “I trust that it was a proud moment for all St Lucians as it was for me.”
According to Spencer said. “Because this is all that I have sought to do for my professional career, that is to place St Lucia on top of the world and to show that, despite our size, we can soar to great heights.”
Spencer said she hopes that her achievements will inspire younger Saint Lucians to aim high and perhaps capture the elusive Olympic gold medal.
Levern Spencer won the gold medal in the women’s high jump at rhe Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia after clearing the bar with a season’s best jump of 1.95 metres.