Former Olympic javelin and discus thrower Olivia McKoy remains among Jamaica’s many homeless individuals, and was photographed roaming the streets of Mandeville on Friday, November 11.
In the image captured by Jamaican track and field website, trackalerts, a seemingly distraught and trimmed McKoy had her hands outstretched in a plea for assistance.
“So sad to see her on the sidewalk with bags and all kind of stuff spreading out at the Cecil Charlton Park in Mandeville today,” was the caption that accompanied the heart-rending photo.
Also captured in the image were scribbles made in what appears to be chalk, where McKoy wrote her name, where she was (Mandeville, JA) and a number to contact her on the wall closest to where she now sleeps.
Retired since 2008, McKoy won silver medals at the 1999 and 2005 Central American and Caribbean Championships; and bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
She also competed at the 2000 Olympic Games, the 2005 World Championships and the 2008 Olympic Games. Her personal best throw is 61.10 metres, the standing Jamaican Woman’s record, achieved in July 2005 in Nassau, Bahamas.
In a plea for help published in the Jamaica Observer in 2013, McKoy said that her financial situation has got so bad that she was unable to pay rent and spent many nights on the streets of Kingston with her four-year-old son by her side.
From that time she eeked a living from bagged juice sales on the streets of Kingston, but three years later – having sent her son overseas for a better life – still with nowhere to go and no money, she was again forced on the streets.
Earlier in 2016, 65-year-old Mckoy told the Observer that she was offered a position at the Hydel Group of Schools in Ferry, St Catherine.
Unfortunately she soon fell out of favour shortly after being appointed and returned to the streets of New Kingston and Half-Way-Tree.
In her interview with the Observer Mckoy said that the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) had stepped in periodically over the years, making $10,000 or $25,000 donations to help her buy food.