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Bahamas Golden Girls - Photo by Peter RamseyThe tiny islands of the Bahamas are 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 medal—an 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 their country.

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!

Nothing will 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 again."

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. "It’s 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 home—at least until the 2004 Olympics!

More News about the Golden Girls

The Tribune, Nassau, Bahamas----May 2nd, 2002
Athletes get land promised when they won Olympic gold medal.
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

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