Alana Walker has made Jamaican history by becoming the first-ever athlete from the Caribbean island to win a medal at a major gymnastics competition.
She is 14.
Walker took home the bronze medal in the women’s all-around division at the Junior Pan American Championships at the Polideportivo López Mateos in Guadalajara, Mexico, this month.
United States junior women’s champion Katelyn Jong (54.100) took nabbed the gold medal while Madray teammate Johnson (53.550) took home silver.
Walker was born to Jamaican parents in the United States. She was added to the USA development squad in May 2021 and won US Nationals at Level 10. However, Walker decided that she wanted to represent the country of her parents’ birth.
The win means that Walker automatically qualifies for the Junior Pan Am Championships in Colombia later this year.
Jamaica’s Minister of Sport, Olivia Grange, congratulated Walker for the notable achievement.
“A fantastic feat by Alana, breaking new ground for Jamaica,” said Grange. “I am so proud of her bronze medal performance at the Junior Pan American Championships.”
“I wish Alana all the best as she pursues further accomplishments in gymnastics, and at the same time I wish to commend the Jamaica Gymnastics Association for its continued efforts to develop the sport in Jamaica,” Grange added.
Jamaica Gymnastics Association President, Nicole Grant-Brown, thinks this is only the beginning for Walker.
“Her placement at this event speaks volumes to her ability and talent and we are super, super excited that she has chosen to represent Jamaica at this time when we have launched our Junior Olympic programme,” said Grant-Brown per the Jamaica Observer.
“She is a part of that programme and we look forward to her development and her transition into the senior category, as next year, she will become a senior and the road to 2024 Olympics would have started for her.”