Donovan Bailey, sprinter (b at Manchester, Jamaica 16 Dec 1967). Donovan Bailey was a teenager when he came to Canada in 1981. Donovan Bailey is a gifted athlete but was unable to devote his full energies to his sprinting. His real interest was clothing and he established a successful import-export clothing business before he began running track in earnest in 1990. He was, however, good enough to make the national sprint team and was an alternate on the 1993 sprint relay squad.
Following the world championships in 1993 he moved to Louisiana to train seriously. His times improved dramatically and in 1995 he staged several upset victories and posted a world best time for the season. At the Canadian championships that year he ran a blazing 9.91 seconds in the 100 m final and established himself as a favourite for the world championship. Donovan Bailey dominated the 100 m final at the world championship in Göteborg, Sweden, running a 9.97 and claiming the gold medal.
Donovan Bailey's heroics were the highlight of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He won the 100 m race in world record time (9.84) against the strongest field ever assembled. Donovan Bailey also anchored the 4 x 100 m relay team which defeated the Americans for the gold medal.
Bailey's 100 Metre Run
Bailey defeated the strongest field ever assembled to contest the 100 metres at the Olympic Games (courtesy IOC and CBC).
Men's Relay Team
Canada's men's 4X100 metre relay team. They won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (from left to right: Robert Esmie who ran for Carlton Chambers in the final, Bruny Surin, Donovan Bailey and Glenroy Gilbert). The "fab five" were inducted into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 (photo by Denis Paquin, courtesy CP Archives).
Bailey, Donovan (4 X 100 Relay)
Donovan Bailey taking the men's 4 X 100 to victory at the Atlanta Olympic Games (courtesy Maclean's).
Sprinter Donovan Bailey. He won the 100 metre final with a world-record time of 9.84 seconds against the strongest field ever assembled. Bailey's heroics were the highlight of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta (photo by Paul Chiasson, courtesy CP Archives).