Hubbard's Cupboard: Wint would give Jamaica's sprint king a run for his money


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The Independent Online

You may think Usain Bolt is the best thing to come out of Jamaica since rum and reggae, but there are many in his homeland who say its most revered athlete remains Dr Arthur Wint MBE.

He was Jamaica's first Olympic gold medallist, winning the 400m at London's 1948 Games. He also won silver in the 800m and was part of the relay team, in Helsinki's 1952 Games, where they set the world record and took gold in the 4x400m relay. He also again won 800m silver.

Known as The Gentle Giant, Wint also became a pilot, a doctor and a diplomat yet astonishingly once stood trial for killing a woman. In 1941, while working as an intern, Wint accidentally shot and killed his 30-year-old co-worker Ida Forbes. He had chanced upon the cashier's gun, and playfully pointed it at Ida, not knowing it was loaded.

At his trial, Wint was represented by the future Jamaican premier Norman Manley, who successfully pleaded for leniency. Wint was given two years' probation.

He joined the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in 1942 and was sent here for active combat during the war. Wint later practised as a doctor in Jamaica before returning to London to be Jamaican High Commissioner from 1974 to 1978. He died in Linstead, Jamaica, in 1992, aged 72.