Contextually, more than a decade before Jamaica was even independent, and three years after the end of World War II, to think of Jamaica as a sprint powerhouse would have been ludicrous. This was Jamaica’s first Olympic Games. In fact, blacks in sport were still nowhere near the prevalence which would have been deserved based on their level of talent.
Therefore, when Herb McKenley faded near the line to be passed by his teammate Arthur Wint in the 400m at the London Games of 1948 it was a victory not only for Jamaica but for black pride everywhere.
Wint and McKenley were back four years later, along with George Rhoden and Leslie Laing, at the Helsinki Olympics. These four men ran a time of 3:03.9 sec to claim the 4×400 gold, becoming the only team other than past teams of the United States to hold a 4x400m world record.