Fraser-Pryce thanks church for prayers
TWO-TIME Olympic 100-metre champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce yesterday spoke live -- via cellphone -- to members of the Penwood Church of Christ, thanking them for their prayers which, she said, propelled her to victory in Saturday's 100-metre final at the London 2012 Olympics.
The call came during a special service to mark Jamaica's 50th year of Independence at the Waterhouse, St Andrew, church, where she is a member.
The gratitude from the affable Fraser-Pryce, which was transmitted over speaker phone so the whole church could hear, was greeted with loud cheers and screams of joy during the service in which she was repeatedly hailed for her strong belief in God.
The "Pocket Rocket", as she is affectionately called, said that she trusted God in pulling her through and was never worried about the race.
"Good morning, and thank you very much for all your payers and to everyone who called me to send best wishes. Sometimes these are the moments when you need to be reminded that God is taking care of us," Fraser-Pryce told the congregants.
"I am just excited and if I never knew how powerful God was, I found out yesterday," she said, disclosing that moments before her race she was approached by a gentleman who said "This is all yours, and all you have to do is give God the glory."
Fraser-Pryce won the race in 10.75 seconds, the third-fastest time she has ever run, to win ahead of the United States' Carmelita Jeter and Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, who finished third.
She said she prayed before the race and asked God to grant her the victory if it was His will. She said her eyes were now set on the 200-metre race, the preliminary rounds of which begin today.
In the meantime, members of the church told the Jamaica Observer that they never stopped praying for Fraser-Pryce and had no doubt that she would triumph.
"We are very proud of her and was always praying for her. Even before she ran the first race she called us and we prayed for her and we are really happy with the example that she has shown to the world, that Christ is real," Senior Pastor Winston Jackson said, noting that he will never forget the picture of her lying on her back on the track saying "Thank you, Jesus" after she had won the race.
"Nothing could shake her confidence. We knew she would win and weren't surprised when she did," he added.
Other members concurred.
"We never had any doubts about her winning because we were praying for her all the time and even while she was running the finals I was praying, because when we pray, we know that God will grant us whatever we asked if it is his will," said Donald Isaacs.,
"I told her, 'You're going to win because you're a champion and you got to win'," said Shemoy Thompson. "She is a champion."
Another member, Mickaela Grant, added, "I know she would have won once she got a good start because she is a champion and even though she didn't get the best start she still won and I want to tell her thanks."
Also among the congregation issuing heartiest congratulations to Fraser-Pryce was Alyana Anderson, the 10-year-old girl to whom she dedicated her gold medal when she publicly wished her a happy birthday minutes after winning the gold in London.
"I am happy that she won and I just want to say, 'Thank you, Shelly-Ann for winning the gold'," said Anderson.
Meanwhile, Shantel Brown, a cousin of Fraser-Pryce, said, "The whole family is proud of her and we also want to thank her for what she did."