Alia Atkinson


She is the first person of colour to achieve a Swimming World Title in a world record time.



Alia S. Atkinson was born in Jamaica on December 11th, 1988. Her parents knew the importance of swimming as a life skill and ensured that their children were proficient in this skill. {her mother also learning to swim with their eldest daughter}


At an early age of 3 Alia literally jumped into the pool at her first learn to swim class with coach Matthew at the beginning of her summer break. Within the first week she could tread water and by the end of summer she was swimming across the pool. She quickly transitioned to the Y Speedos Swim Team with her first swim meet at the age of 4. Under the tutelage of coaches Matthew, Teddy, Michael and Lowe, Alia began a successful routine of balancing an academic and athletic lifestyle.


After Vaz Preparatory Alia began representing Jamaica at the Carifta, CISC, CCCAN and CAC Games {all Caribbean related meets}

After high school graduation Alia attended Texas A + M University where she swam her way to numerous school records, BIG 12 crowns and 19 All-American citations. As captain in her senior year Alia added a NCAA Title to her many accolades.


At the age of 15 Alia represented Jamaica at her first Olympics Games, Athens 2004, which resulted in a personal best time.

During her college years Alia competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, which resulted in a new Jamaican National Record.

After graduation she made a decision to focus all her efforts on swimming until the 2012 London Olympics, with a commitment of medaling. {which she thought was a stretch due to the fact that she didn’t even make semi-finals in 2008}. She not only made semi-finals in the 2012 London Olympics but tied for 8th place going into finals, {a rarity at the Games}. She won the swim-off and just missed what would have been an incredible first medal for Jamaica   by placing 4th. She describes this as “BITTERSWEET”.

Alia’s indomitable spirit – After the 2012 Olympics Games, Alia felt that she had more to offer the sport of swimming and continued her training at the SOFLO Swim Club with Coach Christopher Anderson Jr. During the next four years she broke the Commonwealth Games record, won her first World Championship Title, tied and broke world records several times along with making history as the 1st person of colour {regardless of gender} to hold a World Record.

She will tell you emphatically that this would not have been possible without her supportive sponsors, coaches and family.

In 2016 Alia made her 2nd consecutive Olympic final as well as defended her World Championship Title.

As 2017 unfolds, Alia is looking forward to see all that swimming, God and her insatiable appetite to carry on will bring.


In addition to her successful swimming career, Alia who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology as well as a minor in English, writes children’s short stories and is looking forward to them being published.



Alia Atkinson


Swimmer, Athlete

Birth Date

December 11th, 1988

Place of Birth

St. Andrew, Jamaica

Zodiac Sign




100+ medals

World Cup

75+ medals
3x Broke & Tied World Record

Commonwealth Games

Silver-50 Breaststroke*
Bronze-100 Breaststroke
*Commonwealth record

Pan-American Games

Silver- 100 Breaststroke
200 Individual Medley

World Championships L.C.

Silver- 50 Breaststroke

Bronze- 100 Breaststroke

Worlds Championships S.C.

2x Gold- 100 Breaststroke*
*World Record
2x Silver- 50 Breaststroke
Bronze- 100 Individual Medley

Olympics (04/08/12/16)

4 x Olympian
2 x Finalist
4th placing Finish 2012

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