Rio Olympics – Of All The Events To Find Some JA Blood It Will Be Water Polo

Fantastic……………………..You know as long as you have even 1/4 of Jamaican blood in your veins, we claim you and will celebrate as long as it is not a criminal act.  Can you blame us??  We will quickly disassociate any claim to Jamaican roots if wi sight u pon di most wanted list, or fraud business.  Wi shame like dwag and rightly so.  Like many children born in the United States and other countries of one or both Jamaican parents, they tend to be in touch with their Jamaican heritage and we are always well pleased.

With representation (well kind of) at Rio Olympics of Ashleigh I am chuffed to say the least.  This is history baby don’t you forget it as US media is on this story like ticks pon dwag.  Notwithstanding she will be representing the USA, a suh di ting set up; we share some of the pride with her Mom.  Notice what makes it historic.  First black woman to play for the US Olympic team in this event.  How long has this sport been around?  Hmmmmm.

Congratulations are in order and one can say it is apparent from this achievement that no limitations were spoon fed into this young lady’s brain from childhood.

Exciting US water polo goalkeeper has Jamaican roots

(Jamaica Observer) Saturday, June 25, 2016

United States goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson reaches for a shot during a women’s exhibition water polo match against Australia on Sunday, May 22, 2016, in Los Angeles. Mark J. Terrill

Ashleigh Johnson, the exciting 21-year-old water polo player who is about to make history as the first black woman to play for the United States Olympic team, has Jamaican roots.

The 6 foot 1 inch Ashleigh, who was last month described in an Associated Press report as possessing “jaw-dropping athleticism”, is the daughter of Donna Johnson, a Jamaican nurse who migrated in 1988.

While Ashleigh and her four siblings were not born here, their mother told the Jamaica Observer that they are very much aware of their Jamaican heritage and visitS the island frequently.

In fact, the Johnson family was in Jamaica recently visiting the children’s grandfather, Rupert Grey, and aunt, Claudette Morgan.

Johnson said she was born on October 12, 1958 in Kingston and grew up in Duhaney Park, which she described as a “nice, quiet, family-oriented neighbourhood filled with people of all ages” at the time.

She told the Observer in an e-mail interview that she was fond of her childhood days growing up with her father, and spending time with her grandmother and aunt who cared for her in the absence of her mother, who resided in the United States for the majority of her life.

Johnson attended Central Branch Basic and Primary School before matriculating to Wolmer’s Trust High School for Girls in 1970. She graduated from Wolmer’s in 1977 and continued her education at the University of the West Indies where she read for and completed a Bachelor of Science in International Relations.

According to Johnson, her fondest memory of Jamaica was working with JAMPRO and travelling as a field officer all over the island between 1984 and 1987.

Asked how she felt about her daughter’s elevation to the US team, Johnson said: “I am indescribably proud of her, and I’m so happy for everything she has accomplished.”

Johnson admitted that while her children were athletic, no one else in her family, except her, showed any inclination to be involved in sports, and even then she only dabbled with tennis while at Wolmer’s and merely played for recreation after graduation.

The AP report on Ashleigh said her ascension to elite goalkeeper is a welcome development for a sport looking for more diversity and growth outside of water polo-crazy Southern California.

The story said that after starring at Ransom Everglades High School in Florida, Ashleigh opted for Princeton instead of University of Southern California.

“I think Ashleigh Johnson’s the future of our sport in the US,” the AP quoted USA Water Polo CEO Christopher Ramsey. “She’s an out-of-California athlete who grew up in Florida. She went to Princeton, [a] high academic achiever from a different background than a lot of traditional water polo families are from.”

According to the AP story, Ashleigh wasn’t interested in a future with the national team.

“The thought of moving away from her tight-knit family and joining a new team in California wasn’t appealing to her, but several conversations with Coach Adam Krikorian helped change her mind,“ the AP reported.

“I didn’t really know that the Olympics was a possibility for me,” she was reported as saying. “I thought it was just like coming and training like I had been doing for years, but just living out here, he made me realise that the Olympics was a great opportunity and a possibility for me.”

The AP story said Ashleigh collected 54 saves while helping the United States qualify for the Olympics at a tournament in The Netherlands in March, including 10 stops in an 11-6 victory over Italy in the final, capping an 8-0 performance for the Americans.

“She’s a freak,” the AP quoted Princeton Coach Luis Nicolao. “She’s just athletic. I often joke she could probably start for our basketball team, track team, swim team; she just has that natural ability to succeed at anything she does.”

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