The story behind the making of 
The Merlene Ottey Tribute


In 1998 I had been admiring my brother's skills in making his own homepage for a while and then decided that I wanted to make one of my own. I was well aware that if I should attract some visitors to the website I should feature something special rather than just facts about myself. Having been a serious fan of Merlene Ottey ever since 1991 and maybe even before that (getting cable TV and watching athletics on Eurosport since 1988), I decided to make a tribute to her as well the Pet Shop Boys on the homepage. From there on it developed so that I every now and then would add new information, statistics and photos to the site.



In the spring of 1999 IAAF arranged a Web Page Competition as part of the celebration of 1999 as "The Year of Athletics" due to the World Championships in Athletics in Sevilla, Spain. I started to work seriously on the website and I its details. I had to find out news on Merlene Ottey as the competition entries should have some news value. In the end of June I entered my "Merlene Ottey Tribute" to the competition. I was well aware that my entry would not win a price for its technical looks - on the other hand I was certain that my website was one of the most comprehensive and detailed. In the end I was awarded 9th place in the Web Page Competition. Having entered the website to the competition I tried to contact Merlene Ottey and her manager through the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), but did not succeed and in August 1999 it was revealed through Merlene Ottey's own management company, FKG, that she had tested positive for nandrolone.

I was in a state of shock, but on 15 November 1999 I received a fantastic e-mail. It was from Merlene's manager, Daniel Zimmermann, that was able to tell me that Merlene Ottey had been acquitted of all doping charges by the JAAA and he attached an official press release to the e-mail. Daniel told me that he had only the same day become aware of the website - Merlene had looked at the website and liked it. After a few weeks of correspondance with Daniel we decided to give my Merlene Ottey Tribute status as an official fansite and we furthermore decided that I should be responsible for running a fanclub  with Daniel occasionally supplying me with the necessary information. On 1 December 1999 the Merlene Ottey Fanclub was founded and in January 2000 the first of many newsletters was send out to the fans that had joined the fanclub by sending an e-mail to



2000 was a hard year for Merlene Ottey as well as her many fans around the world. Her image had been damaged by the drug case and in February she was suspended by the IAAF pending a hearing at an IAAF Arbitration Panel. This panel acquitted her of all doping charges on 3 July 2000. Merlene was free to compete again and less than three weeks later she qualified for the Olympic Games at the national trials in Kingston. August 2000 saw her return to the European Grand Prix circuit with an amazing third place at the Weltklasse Meeting in Zürich. In September Merlene participated in her 6th Olympic Games and finished fourth in the 100 metre final and ran home a record-breaking eighth Olympic medal in the 4x100 metre relay (silver). 306 people had signed up for a fanclub membership by the end of the year 2000 and a total of 20 newsletters was send out to these fanclub members during the year.



By the end of 2000 Merlene Ottey decided to continue her career further into the new century and naturally I will continue to run the fanclub and the website, which in the meantime has moved to a new location. By 12 June 2001 352 people are members of the fanclub.

Enjoy yourself going through the many pages of the website!

Jakob Munkhĝj Nielsen


Back to Merlene Ottey Tribute