Levern Spencer has retired

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The high jumper, Levern Spencer has decided, after 23 years to retire. Competing in 4 Olympics, 5 Commonwealth Games and 8 World Championships, Levern has seen the elite world of athletics for most of her life, as an elite high jumper.

This is part one of Stuart Weir's piece on this fine athlete from St. Lucia!

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Levern Spencer, photo courtesy of damajority.com

Levern Spencer has retired

Levern Spencer has retired after an illustrious career which saw her compete at four Olympics, five Commonwealth Games, eight outdoor World Championships and four indoor World Championships. I have been privileged to see her in 17 of those global championships. I remember clearly the first conversation that I had with her. It was in Brussels 2017, the year there was a power failure leaving much of the media as in darkness. On the ways the stadium, I read in Mark Butler's excellent biographies that will Levern Spencer was a committed Christian. As I have an interest in athletes of faith, I made a note to speak to her afterwards. I missed her because of the chaos in a dark mixed zone. Later I boarded the bus back to the hotel. The bus was full with just one seat remaining - next to Levern!

She posted on social media the: "Well as it turned out, my final jump at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was indeed my final jump in the event of high-jump, in the sport of track and field. After a journey of 23 consecutive years, this skinny introvert from the sub-urban community of Babonneau in the tiny island of St. Lucia with a population of 180,000, has decided to hang up her spikes and officially end her journey in the sport of track and field, and what a journey it was.

But it was by no means an easy journey, as I had to on many occasions go through it literally with blood, sweat and tears. But my motto "God + HardWork + Discipline = Success", and my determination to keep my country's flag flying internationally and to continue to open doors for other St. Lucians kept me going.

On reflection, I can say that when I made my belated entry into the high-jump event as a 14-year-old, I had no aspirations of making it that far but I am glad that I kept going because there is no doubt that my tiny nation is now better known as a result of my exploits on the field of play.

So as I hang up my spikes once and for all, I say thanks to the almighty God for his guidance and protection over the years. I am thankful for the support of the Government and people of St.Lucia, corporate St. Lucia, my many coaches along the way, my family and friends who gave me lots of moral support, my agents and local manager and fellow athletes I encountered along that long journey. Without all of you, it really would not be possible.

So, as I now change my attire and walk off into the sunset, I do so with a sense of pride, joy, and accomplishment, knowing that I gave my all in my quest to be a great ambassador for the sport".

Always approachable, she was happy to talk through her career with me. Read that in part two

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