Wed | Aug 10, 2022

Knight Wisdom hoping for Commonwealth success to mark 10-year milestone

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2022 | 12:13 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter
Yona Knight-Wisdom
Yona Knight-Wisdom

WITH THE 2022 Commonwealth Games in his sights, Olympic diver Yona Knight-Wisdom is hoping that medal success can crown a 10-year journey representing Jamaica on the international stage.

Knight-Wisdom was named to Jamaica’s aquatic team for the Games this week, competing in the one-metre and three-metre springboard events in Birmingham, England.

It is a significant year for Knight-Wisdom not just because of the Commonwealth Games, but also because he celebrates 10 years of competing under the Jamaican flag, a decision he says that he has not regretted.

“I’m excited about the opportunity this summer and I appreciate the support that I have had and continue to get over the years and hope I can just keep building from here,” Knight-Wisdom told The Sunday Gleaner.

The year 2012 would be a defining moment in the life of Knight-Wisdom when he decided to switch allegiances from Great Britain to Jamaica in the hopes of achieving his dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games.

MAJOR DIVING MEDAL

Since then he has competed in two Olympic Games, including last year’s Games in Tokyo and became the first Jamaican athlete to win a major diving medal, earning silver at the 2019 Pan American Games.

But it is the two Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 that mean the most to him throughout the past decade. According to Knight-Wisdom, those two Olympics represent a lifelong dream and the fulfilment of a desire to leave a lasting legacy on the sport in Jamaica.

“The proudest moment was qualifying for Rio 2016 because that’s what the whole point of it was, the reason for representing Jamaica and putting Jamaica on the diving map. And by qualifying for Rio, that was the proudest moment because I had achieved that goal,” Knight-Wisdom said.

“(But) the most defining moment was qualifying for my second games in Tokyo, personally for me because it showed that Rio wasn’t just a fluke and I am actually at that level. And it kind of switched my focus from just being about me and my personal goals to trying to build something a bit bigger and build a bit of a legacy.”

That legacy, he hopes, will include him mentoring the next generation of local divers once he decides to call time on his career. But, for now, Knight-Wisdom is focused on the next Olympic cycle, with the 2024 Games in Paris. Knight-Wisdom says that he hopes that he can attain Commonwealth success not only for his personal growth, but also as validation.

“I think getting a medal this time around, it will show the importance of resilience and dedication and hard work and energy into one task and doing it because of the enjoyment and doing it for the right reasons. It will show the importance of that because that is what I have done it for.”

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com