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Fairfield University Swim Coach To Serve As Olympics Commentator

Fairfield University Swimming and Diving Head Coach Atkinson-Wignall will serve as an ESPN Caribbean Commentator for the Olympic Games.
Fairfield University Swimming and Diving Head Coach Atkinson-Wignall will serve as an ESPN Caribbean Commentator for the Olympic Games. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A coach from Fairfield University will serve as an ESPN commentator during the Olympics, the university has announced.

Swimming and Diving Head Coach Janelle Atkinson-Wignall, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, will serve as an ESPN Caribbean Commentator for the Olympic Games.

The 2016 Summer Olympics will get underway Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The two-time Olympian and seven-time Jamaican "Swimmer of the Year" was named the first woman to coach both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams in Fairfield history in 2014.

Her Jamaican roots are very important to her. “I am proud of my culture and heritage," she said.

ESPN offers two English-language networks in the Caribbean including ESPN (offered in HD) and ESPN2. Both were launched in 2007, offering the best in world sport while also providing a Caribbean focus on what viewers in the region most want to see.

ESPN’s Caribbean networks air in 32 countries and territories.

Atkinson-Wignall, a former UConn assistant coach, competed successfully in two Olympiads, first in the 2000 Sydney Games and then the 2004 Athens Games. She finished fourth in the 400-meter freestyle, very close to obtaining a medal, and ninth in the 800-meter freestyle in Sydney. She also swam in the 200 and 400-meter freestyle during the games in Athens.

“Looking back (at the Olympic experience), it was an amazing achievement,” she said.

“Olympics are stressful. You start off the sport for yourself, you compete for yourself. Once in the Olympics, you are competing for your family, your friends, a whole country. You are representing them. There is a lot of pressure there. It can be overwhelming.”

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