Why Do Jamaicans Run so Fast?

usian bolt jamaica

Is it a bird? A plane? A jet? No, it’s a Jamaican athlete.  Why do Jamaicans run so fast?

Whether male, female, whatever age group they are, and how they grew up. Jamaicans are well known as some of the fastest runners in the world. Breaking world records and bringing home some of the most significant rewards in the athletic arena. Jamaica is home to only 2.8 million people, yet the little island is home to both the fastest man and the fastest woman in the world. One may wonder, however, how do Jamaicans run so fast?

Theories – why Jamaicans run fast

We have heard so many theories, and so many of them make sense and could serve as a possible answer. So far, a favorite is the identification of a “speed gene” found in persons who are from West Africa (where our ancestors come from). One study stated that “a larger than average heart facilitates a faster flow of oxygen to the muscles.” This faster flow of oxygen then causes the person to move faster. This theory holds its credit has there has been evidence of exceptional sprinters dating back to the 1950s. But of course, many say this theory is just that; a theory.

Professor Morrison, President of the University of Technology, told the Jamaica Observer that two staples crops found in Jamaica were to be credited for the Jamaican athletes’ success. These are the Jamaican Yam and Green Bananas. Professor Morrison, who has studied the speed of the sprinter, does think the Jamaican food that most Jamaican children are grown on is to be credited for the athletes’ success.

Homegrown sprint stars at ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Champions

Some persons also think that the success of our Jamaican athletes should be accredited to the efforts of school and our institutes have placed in fostering young people towards sports. One such event is the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Champions. A competition that schools and students that are aspiring to become athletes look forward to every year to make their names known in the Jamaican athletics arena. Training for Champs from high school days gives the Jamaican athletes a chance to train and get used to the art of the sport before even becoming an athlete. This holds on its own, as both the fastest man and the fastest woman in the world participate in the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Champions.

usain blake and jamaican runners

One thing from the first view Jamaican’ athletes are fast sprinters due to several factors and no one thing. Their discipline, passion, talent, and all the hard work that our athletes put in when the cameras are off, and no one is looking. What they consume is also one of those factors—the right healthy food consumed from childhood that dispenses just the proper nutrients that they need to succeed.

The answer to our question may be complicated and not quickly answered, Whatever the reason for the exceptional speed of our Jamaican athletes. Be it the ‘speed gene’ that makes our athletes so fast or children being active and running from a young age—our investment in sporting activities from the high school stage or our fresh air and healthy food. One thing is for sure Jamaica does have some of the fastest runners in the world, a trend we do not see being broken anytime soon.

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