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Aleen Bailey is on a long list of distinguished Jamaican female athletes. As a young girl, she saw Jamaica’s first Olympic female medalist Merlene Ottey on TV and wanted to be just like her. The fact that they are graduates of the same high school might have added to her desire to follow in Ottey’s footsteps.
Bailey has long been respected for her leadership qualities among team members and is known for her confidence, some of which she displays at the starter’s block.
Born and raised in the rustic parish of St. Mary, Bailey spent a lot of time with four of her brothers, playing football and cricket in the road and remembers herself as being “tomboyish.” However, her athletic career started to take shape in primary school, and she really got serious about the sport as a career when she turned 17. She initially wanted to be a doctor, but the appeal of track became greater than any other as she began to look at athletes who made it.
Her success on the track has spanned several years, beginning when she was a young girl. She was the 100m and 200m double sprint champion at High Schools Athletics Championships from 1993 to 1999; CARIFTA Games gold medalist from 1997 to 1999; and the Jamaica 100m and 200m champion in 2001. But her athletic prowess has been tested beyond these levels at the Penn Relays, her alma mater University of South Carolina, the NCAA Outdoor track and field championships, the Commonwealth Games, the World Championships, and the Olympic Games.
When Bailey isn’t running, she enjoys sewing, cooking and singing, and her favorite food is fish. She likes to watch cartoons and talk on the phone, and she loves to pamper herself with manicures and pedicures.
Her idea for a sports complex in her homeland is a dream she has had for a while. It’s a business geared towards attracting athletes from other countries to train during the cold months, and she targets the year 2020 to turn the idea into reality.