Donovan Bailey (born December 16, 1967) is a Canadian athlete. Born in Manchester, Jamaica, Bailey emigrated from Jamaica to Canada at age 13, and played basketball before his graduation.
Donovan's love was basketball but was very fast on the track. Following graduation from high school, Donovan went to college to pursue Basketball and a degree in Business Administration. From there he worked in the Brokerage and Financial Industry and also started his own marketing and real estate firms.
It wasn't until 1990 that Donovan, while watching the Canadian Track and Field Championships, saw athletes competing for the National team, athletes that he won against in High School with little training!
Donovan became a member of the Canadian National Team in 1991 while competing on a part-time basis. In 1994 after a meeting with Coach Dan Pfaff who encouraged him to take up sprinting full time, did Donovan commit fully to it.
The first of only two men ever to hold all three titles of Olympic Champion, World Champion and World Record Holder, Track and Field News declared Donovan Bailey "Sprinter of the Decade" (1990's), and one of the world's all-time greatest and most dominant sprinters.
After very intensive training under the tutelage of Coach Dan Pfaff, Donovan was ranked among the top ten sprinters in the world winning the Commonwealth Games and the Francophone Games in Relay.
Then, in 1995 only one year after he began training full-time, Donovan Bailey captured the World Championship in Goteborg, Sweden, making him the pre-eminent sprinter in the world and destroying all competitors.
By 1996 the world's eyes were on Donovan Bailey - and he let no one down. In what can only be described as a meteoric and unprecedented rise to athletic greatness, Donovan won Gold at the Atlanta Olympic Games, setting a new World and Olympic Record in the process and completely restoring Canada's grace and reputation on the world stage.
July 27, 1996. Atlanta, Georgia. The Olympic Games. When the starter pistol went off that sultry summer night, things changed forever. In a magnificent blend of explosive power and awesome athleticism, Donovan Bailey confirmed what every one in the world already knew. This was "The World's Fastest Man".
It's a title that's pure and simple. It goes all the way back to ancient Greece and the founding principles upon which the Olympic Games began - "Higher, Faster, Stronger".
In 1997, Donovan continued his dominance of the Sprints which led him to a showdown with American, Michael Johnson, the 200/400 hundred metre Champion. In the highest rated athletic showdown ever, Donovan came out as The Champion. He later went on to repeat as the World Champion in Athens.
After a very successful and storied career, which also involved a major injury, Donovan retired gracefully at the World Championships in his home country in from of his fans, as Canada's greatest sprinter ever!
Today, Donovan Bailey, while nestled in the heart of the business community, still holds the world record in the 50metres, and the Olympic, Commonwealth and Canadian records for the 100metres.
He also proudly claims the titles of: Canadian Champion, Pan American Games Champion, Goodwill Games Champion, Commonwealth Games Champion, World Champion, Olympic Champion.
Recently retired from competitive athletics, this five-time World and Olympic Champion has committed himself to a number of charitable works, including spokesperson for the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Toronto and the Canadian Cancer Society. Donovan also generously gives his time to many other charities and has recently created the Donovan Bailey Fund, committed to the advancement and financial assistance of Canada's most talented amateur athletes, so that they too may have an opportunity to achieve Gold.
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