Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn created history on Friday after becoming the first Olympic medallist to be appointed a Jamaican government minister.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness named Cuthbert-Flynn Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Under the last administration, Jamaica did not have a minister of state in the Chris Tufton-led ministry.

The 56-year-old Cuthbert-Flynn became a Member of Parliament in 2016 representing the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the constituency of West Rural St Andrew. She retained her seat during the September 3 General Elections.

She was in a state of disbelief over her appointment.

“Oh wow, I am so excited. I am pinching myself to wake up from this but it is truly an exciting feeling to serve. Service is such a wonderful thing and this is an opportunity for me to continue serving my country at a national level and serving the people in my constituency,” Cuthbert-Flynn said.

“I am just really honoured. Yes, I created history but I am not even looking at that now but I guess it is, because others have come before me from sports and tried representational politics and it didn’t really happen for them; Herb McKenley, I know, and to be named State Minister is just an awesome feeling and the work continues.”

In 1972, McKenley ran for the Jamaica Labour Party in the St. Andrew North constituency in Jamaica’s General Elections but lost.

The newly named State Minister beamed, “I just continue to be proud of my country and continue to work on behalf of the people of Jamaica.”

Cuthbert-Flynn represented Jamaica at five successive Olympic Games starting in 1980.

At the 1992 Games in Barcelona, Spain, she won silver medals in 100m and 200m. Four years later, she won a bronze medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

She also won four relay medals at the World Championships including a gold at the 1991 championships in Tokyo, Japan.

Source: Leighton Levy