The tiny islands of the Bahamas
proud to be home to the fastest female team athletes in the world!
At the 2000 Olympics in
Sydney last fall, the five "Golden Girls" of the Bahamas proudly accepted four gold medals and one silver
medalan amazing record for a country this small. Debbie
Ferguson, Chandra Sturrup, Sevatheda
Fynes, Pauline Davis-Thompson, and Eldece Clark-Lewis were dubbed the Golden
Girls in 1999 after their first place finish at the prestigious World Championships
in Seville, Spain.
Their incredible achievements at the Olympics a year later showed the
world why they had earned that name.
Ferguson, Sturrup, Fynes, and Davis-Thompson all won gold medals in the 4 x 100 meter
relay, and Davis-Thompson also won a silver medal in the 200-meter competition.
Clark-Lewis, a silver medallist at the Atlanta Olympics, ran all the qualifying races in
Sydney but did not compete in the final race.
Abaco's Fynes, who won a bronze medal in
Atlanta, was the leadoff runner, screaming out of the blocks to stretch 5 meters ahead of
the pack before handing off to Sturrup, a gold medallist in the 1999 Pan Am Games in
Winnipeg, Canada. Sturrup maintained the lead on the difficult straightaway run and
delivered the baton to curve-running specialist Davis-Thompson. Anchor runner Ferguson,
one of the most promising of all the young Caribbean speed merchants, snatched the baton
for the last leg of the relay and sailed across the finish line with a 2-meter lead over
Marion Jones of the US team. The Golden Girls of the Bahamas had once again lived up to the enormous expectations of
The girls returned home to a six-day fanfare of festivities in their honor, from
receptions and parades to monetary awards and land grants. Central Bank has even been
commissioned to mint a commemorative gold coin to honor their victory. "The world was
stunned and many are still in awe of our accomplishments," said Governor General Sir
Orville Turnquest, speaking at a reception for the victors in the courtyard of the
Government House. "Billions of people around the world are familiar with the Bahamas thanks to the performances by our athletes!
compare with the elation and taste of that first gold." Davis-Thompson, who is
retiring this year along with fellow Golden Girl
Clarke-Lewis, spoke on behalf of the athletes in stressing that their success is due in
large part to the encouragement of their families and their country. She said the team was
"overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support," and she challenged future
Olympic teams by saying "We must not let our standards down
we must do this
The incredible achievements of our Golden Girls at the
Sydney Olympics proved to an international audience that they are world-class athletes and
terrific ambassadors for the Bahamas. But though they may
travel the world over, interact with people from all nations, and receive countless
accolades, their hearts are always here with us in the islands. "Its good to be
home," Sevatheda Fynes told a reporter. And the people of the Bahamas
are glad to have her and all of the Golden Girls homeat
least until the 2004 Olympics!
More News about the Golden Girls
The Tribune, Nassau, Bahamas----May 2nd, 2002
"GOLDEN GIRLS GET THEIR LAND
Athletes get land promised when they won Olympic gold
After a year and a half of waiting, the 'Golden Girls'
have finally received the crown land the government of the Bahamas
promised them. On Wednesday at a press conference, outgoing
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham presented the deeds to the plots of
land to the sprint relay team of Pauline Davis-Thompson, Eldece
Clarke-Lewis and Debbie Ferguson, who were on hand, and Sevatheda
Fynes and Chandra Sturrup, who were absent.
Each of the five Golden Girls is being given a 20,000
square foot piece of property overlooking the sea, just west of
Traveler's Rest , valued at $400,000 for a total of $2,000,000.
The Golden Girls were promised the land as part of the
appreciation package by the government after they won the gold medal
in the 4 x 100-meter relay at the 2000 Olympic Games. They also
received $40,000 each and a gold commemorative coin.
'The Government wants to make available to each of the
Golden Girls a parcel of land as part of our expression of
appreciation and joy for their great victory for the Bahamas,' said
Prime Minister Ingraham. 'It has been a little while seeking to
identify the appropriate site for them and I think we have found a
site they will all love.'
By Julian Lockhart
Tribune Sports Reporter