Churandy Martina: The Sprinter With The Golden Smile
Churandy Martina. You almost can’t mention his name without a smile on your face. This son of Curaçao has captured all of our hearts with his gifted feet, unwaveringly positive attitude and infectious smile.
As a sprinter he has competed in four Olympic Games, twice for the Netherlands Antilles in Athens and Beijing and twice for the Netherlands in London and Rio de Janeiro. And he shows no signs of slowing down as he has set out to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Born Churandy Thomas Martina on July 3rd, 1984 in Curaçao, Churandy won his first sprinting medal when he was only 6 years old in a youth run. Throughout his illustrious career, his Curaçaoan tastes and mannerisms have remained intact. To this day, for instance, his favorite dish is our Tutu with fish and fried plantain, or “banana hasá”).
To call Churandy Martina’s career illustrious is somewhat of an understatement. Starting in 1999, he has been a record-setting and medal-winning machine. The only decoration missing on his mantel is an Olympic medal, which he has come narrowly close to winning on more than one occasion. All with his signature upbeat demeanor.
Among his accomplishments are; he is the Dutch sprint record holder on the 60m, 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay and he is the world record holder on the 30m (he booked a faster time sprinting than a stack of falling dominoes and this will place him in the Guiness Book of Records). He also holds all the sprinting records of the former Netherlands Antilles.
He has also won a total of 10 gold medals at the Pan American Games, Central American and Caribbean Games, South American Games, Pan American Junior Championships, and the European Championships. He has also won a total of 5 silver medals at the South American Games, Junior (Under 20) and Youth (Under 17) CARIFTA Games and the Continental Cup.
In addition to all of these milestones, Churandy Martina is also the only sprinter other than Usain Bolt to have appeared in all three of the 200m finals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics – at which he missed winning a bronze medal by one hundredth of a second.
Throughout it all, he has remained humble and kept his focus on improving his personal bests time and time again. His work ethic and resilience certainly makes Churandy Martina a role model for his daughter and the youth of Curaçao. We can’t wait to see what he will achieve next!