'This tops all my awards' swimmer Alia Atkinson says of Order of Distinction
Standout Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson has ranked her recognition at this year’s National Honours and Awards at the top of her achievements.
Atkinson was this morning conferred with the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for outstanding representation of Jamaica in the field of swimming and being the first black woman to win a World Championship Title.
“I don’t think anything else that I’ve done so far tops it,” Atkinson told The Gleaner shortly after being conferred with the honour.
“When I was sitting there and just absorbing everything it just made me feel like I need to try a lot harder in terms of things I can still accomplish and also try harder to embody all that I’ve accomplished,” added Atkinson.
Just last week, the 29-year-old four-time Olympian lowered her 50 metres breaststroke world record to 28.56 seconds, shaving .08 of a second off the previous mark at the FINA (Short Course) Swimming World Cup in Budapest, Hungary.
Atkinson first broke the world record in the event two years ago in Tokyo, Japan.
That same year, she equalled Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte's 100 metres breaststroke world record with her 1:02.36 effort in Chartres, France, becoming the first black woman to win a world swimming title.
The Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander is Jamaica's sixth highest honour.