André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
"For me, there is a saying that 'you bloom where you are planted', and track and field is an unfair sport and sometimes you are judged on many things outside of your performance."
Three gold medals at the last four major championships and the claim to being the fourth-fastest woman in history have done little to give double Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce the respect she thinks she deserves in the international track and field community.But as the IAAF World Championships of Athletics draws closer, the 26-year-old is looking to continue her legacy and, perhaps, convince the skeptics with another podium assault.
"It can do with where you're from, how you look. Maybe you're not the ideal person for a cover, but for me, I am grateful for everything that has happened so far," Fraser-Pryce told The Gleaner as she discussed her reputation on the international scene.
She added: "It's not like I am demanding respect, but everything that I have it's because I earned it, and persons on the sidelines will see that my performances speak for themselves. I don't have to say or do anything extra."
Fraser-Pryce's personal best time of 10.70 is only bettered by world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), Carmelita Jeter (10.64), and Marion Jones (10.65).
The Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic 100m champion emphasised that her focus is always centred on performing when it matters regardless of what others think of her or her contribution to the sport.
"When I go on the line, I'm just ready to run. It doesn't really matter what persons have to say, the statistics, or the analysts. It's all about Shelly-Ann and what I know I am capable of doing," she said.
"There is another saying that 'not everything you hear, you hear', and so I try to separate myself from what persons expect from an Olympic champion - the popularity, and so forth," Fraser-Pryce added.
"I like who I am, and I am grateful for the fact that I have sponsors who appreciate me for who I am. Nike is there, and they have shown that they appreciate me for who I am and (have) done. GraceKennedy and Digicel have shown, too, that they appreciate me, as well as all my fans. That is enough for me," said Fraser-Pryce, whose 10.77 is the fastest time this year in the 100m.
"I am proud of what I have accomplished and what I will accomplish, and I look forward to many wonderful things in track and field, and maybe, who knows, I can change the game," she smiled.