Friday 16 November, 2018

Julien Alfred receives warm reaction after historic silver medal

St Lucians have reacted with great pride following Julien Alfred's silver medal-winning performance at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.

Alfred's medal is St Lucia's first ever in the Summer Youth Olympic Games, which began in 2010 and is held every four years.

Alfred came second in the 100m with a time of 11.23 seconds, just behind Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukuma who won gold with a time of 11.17 seconds.

Many St Lucians reacted on social media, including politicians.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet posted, "Julien we are so proud of you! Congratulations on capturing our nation’s first-ever Youth Olympic Games medal. You continue to rise and be an inspiration. Let’s keep cheering for her and all our athletes from Saint Lucia. Congrats again Julien on finishing second in the women’s 100m today in Buenos Aires and winning a silver medal."

Opposition Leader Philip J Pierre posted, "Congratulations to Ms Julien Alfred on capturing the silver medal in the 100 metres at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Your hard work has definitely paid off. We are proud and salute you."

SLP parliamentarian Ernest Hilaire posted "On behalf of the constituents of Castries South and of Ciceron in particular, I want to extend congratulations to Julien Alfred for her silver medal at the Youth Olympics. She becomes the first Saint Lucian to win a medal at the Youth Olympics and this adds to her Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games. I also want to get congratulate her family and especially her mother.

Julien is a star performer. I first met her just after the 2016 Elections when the new UWP ended her support for schooling and living in Jamaica. This had been put in place by Hon. Shawn Edwards. She visited me together with her mother.

I have been fortunate in my career to meet, discuss issues and even manage elite athletes. I knew from our first conversation she was a star in the making and would soon be world class. She has that unflinching focus on what her journey entails and not allowing anything to distract her. She showed a supreme belief in her destiny without even saying it. So even discussing the consequences of not having that support line did not seem to break her spirit. She just looked like someone that nothing is going to stop from achieving excellence. Champions have that look and aura. She has it.

Equally important is her support system. Her mother is a tower of strength. When you engage her mother you feel maternal strength and courage. An unbreakable resolve to carry her daughter all the way to achieve her dreams. She is a powerful example of so many mothers who fathered generations of Saint Lucians.

Julien is an example for our youth. Let us cherish her, support her and provide the collective encouragement to achieve her dreams, our dream - to achieve an Olympic Gold Medal."

Daren Sammy chimed in from the world of sports saying, "Super proud of you @julien.alfred I may not know of your journey but it takes hard work and determination to achieve your success. Continue working hard cause success occurs when preparation meets opportunity. And you did make use of your opportunity today... #proudlucian"

Alfred dedicated her medal to two family members who have passed away, her father and her aunt.