H is for… Heavy Metal


With a weighty horde of 17 top podium finishes in athletics for a population of just 3 million, you might wonder how it is that Jamaica can consistently beat the odds. One theory looks at two factors: a unique gene pool and a high level of aluminium in the soil.

Many Jamaicans trace their roots back to the slave trade, and the theory goes that only the strongest survived the torturous journey. Jamaica’s island nature meant that it retained this strength in its people, evolving into the proud legacy of champions we’ve seen flourish generations later.

The second theory argues it’s the high level of aluminium in the Jamaican soil. Making its way into the food chain of pregnant mothers, aluminium has been identified as a causal factor of fast-twitch muscle fibres as babies develop in the womb. Whatever the reasons, all we know is Jamaica is top of its game and a must-watch in any track competition.


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Illustration by Audrey Manlot (Instagram:@a.mamlok, Tumblr:mamlok.tumblr.com)


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