Carmen Clarke dies suddenly, just days after turning 75th The birthday sent shockwaves through the Jamaican sporting world. Clark lost a brief battle with cancer on December 17th.
A regular at track and field, swimming and netball tournaments, many people want to know who this bald woman who is always impeccably dressed is, unaware that she is a giant behind the scenes. was
For those many of Jamaica’s elite athletes knew her, her death left a huge hole that could never be filled.
Carmen was born on November 26, 1947 in Duckenfield, St. Thomas. She was the only child of her mother Myrtle Wyn. Her mother took her to live in England when she was 12 years old.
After returning to Jamaica for over a decade where she attended college, Carmen returned to Jamaica to work for the now-defunct Daily News. However, her work was not limited to the media. Over time she became Public Relations Manager for Carreras Limited, where she worked for many years before transitioning to her entrepreneurial streak. She has also contributed significantly to AIDS aid and the church in Jamaica. Not surprisingly, Carmen was also a member of the board of directors for the National She’s Athlete and Sportswoman of the Year Awards.
A disciplined Carmen was a no-nonsense woman who was described by relatives and friends as fearless, humble, inspiring, brave, trustworthy and a good listener. All her attributes make her a good fit for the role of “mother” and a mentor to many. She is Jamaica’s top athlete.
Juliet Campbell, who represented Jamaica at the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics, said: “Carmen will definitely be missed.
“I know firsthand the impact she has had on so many superstar athletes. is.
“She was nonsense, but she loved these kids.”
The “Kids” list reads like Jamaican track and field athletes. Among them are Olympians Veronica Campbell Brown, Marlene Otty, Raymond Stewart, Danny McFarlane, Juliette Cuthbert, Usain Bolt, Juliette Campbell, Aline Bailey, Elva Goulborne Rose, Asafa There were Powell, Michael Frater, Bridget Foster Hilton, and many others.
Aline Bailey, seven-time Kalift champion and 2004 Olympic relay gold medalist, said she was thrown for a loop when she heard the news of Carmen’s death, sharing how influential she was. .
“She is the Olivia Pope of Jamaica to us athletes, and has blessed the lives of not only Jamaican athletes, but people around the world,” Bailey said.
“If I need a fix, advice, tough love, support, or if I need to get out of a tough situation, I call Aunt Carmen.
“Our first encounter was when we first made the junior team. She was the one who taught us how to express ourselves when representing our country. It was also the reason why I started hosting the World Juniors (2002).”
A member of Jamaica’s gold-medal-winning sprint relay team at the Beijing Olympics, Bailey was a senior member of the Jamaica team in 2008, and Sherry-Anne Fraser, Usain Bolt and Melaine Walker are among the island’s breakout talents. It helped hold things together when the light shone brightly.
But that wasn’t always the case for her. There was a time when she needed comfort and guidance at the world championships and Carmen came to her aid.
“I remember someone being mean to me at the World Championships and I was hiding in my room and not eating anything. Deon Hemmings was my roommate. I told her what was happening, she said she would come to the hotel, break into the room, get me out of bed, take a shower, and pick me up every day.
“She did exactly what we wanted, cooked for us, washed our clothes, and gave us a hug when we needed it. She always wanted the best in everyone she met.” was there.”
Carmen’s influence wasn’t limited to Jamaican track and field elite. She also had a great influence on the women of netball in Jamaica.
“You have been a light in our lives. On behalf of the Sunshine Girls, thank you Aunt Carmen from XLCR (Excelsior High School),” said Marva, former president of Netball Jamaica. Bernard shared his condolences on Facebook.
Former media worker and civil servant Gillian Horton has described herself as a friend of Carmen’s sister, and in a Facebook post Nicholas Horton, a recent Howard University swimmer, said how much Carmen will have for her son. Share what made an impact.
“Carmen Clark has always made an effort to attend Nick’s swim meet. She made a special effort to participate in the first CARIFTA Open Water Swim Trials in Puerto Seco,” she said posted about the relationship between a Campion College graduate and Carmen.
“For the four years he went to school, Carmen Clark’s apartment was the last stop before the airport so he could get a massage.”
Perhaps the best summary of who Carmen Clarke is and what she means to many was former Jamaican shot putter Zara Northover’s Facebook post.
“Aunt Carmen Clark. You always looked out for me and encouraged me to pursue it at all costs,” said Northover.
“You defended me in a room I wasn’t present in and prayed the prayers I know God deserved to answer. You are loved and I miss you, you are love and light. Inspiration and Thank you for being a source of comfort, I love you and will never forget the impact you have had on my life and the countless people you have met. Rest in peace. Thank you for watching over us all from above.”
Carmen leaves behind brothers Lloyd and Linval Clark, and sister Beverly.