A rare breed of athlete; a man who has never claimed an Olympic medal in the most viewed event in any Games – yet still has a right to be deemed inspirational for years to come. What makes Kim Collins an inspirational Athlete? His age.
Representing his small country of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Collins has competed in 5 consecutive Olympic Games and 10 World Championships (inc. Indoor), still competing at an International level at the grand age of 42. 42?! That’s not old.. But in the world of athletics, he is practically prehistoric – athletic careers are not supposed to last that long.
Naturally, you would believe that an athlete would get slower as he aged, but Collins seemed to defy that – setting his personal record, and national record of 9.93 at 40 years old in Bottrop, Germany (May 2016). Setting an age group World record, and showing the ‘young guns’ on the International scene that he was still a force to be reckoned with.
Kim Collins did however achieve global success throughout his career, despite never making the podium at the Olympic Games. In the 2003 World Championships in Paris, Collins claimed the Gold in one of the closest 100m races in decades, with the first four athletes being within 0.17 seconds of each other. When Collins secured this victory, he became the first ever World Champion from Saint Kitts and Nevis. Unfortunately, this would be the only time in his career standing on the top of the podium, but he did secure a bronze medal over 100m at the World Championships two years prior, and bagged himself three more bronze medals in 2005, and two in 2011 (100m, 4x100m relay). He also claimed two silver medals at the World Indoor Championships over 60m in 2003 and 2008.
The Saint Kitts and Nevis government declare the 25th of August ‘Kim Collins Day’ to symbolize his victory in the 2003 World Championships, showing how much he influenced his country and made them proud. He proved that you don’t have to be in your 20’s to be a serious contender over the 100m, which may inspire more athletes to aim for longer careers, but I highly doubt his V40 Masters World Record will be bettered any time soon.
With Personal bests in the 60m, 100m and 200m of 6.46, 9.93 and 19.98, the ‘Old Man’ of the athletics world definitely left his mark, most significantly to the citizens of his country. Born 16th January 1975 – Kim Collins – the great.