SPENCER Levern < Back  
Sport Athletics
CGA St. Lucia   
Gender Women
Born 23 Jun 1984 in Castries, LCA
Height1.79 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Bath, ENG
Occupation Athlete
Languages English
Higher education Computer Science, Health Promotion - University of Georgia : Athens, GA, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She took up athletics in 1998 in Saint Lucia.
Why this sport? A high school teacher encouraged her to begin high jumping. She had previously been a sprinter. "I realised I was good at sprinting when I was able to not just defeat all my peers but even people older than I was. I didn't start high jumping until secondary school. In secondary school I was asked to do high jump for my house. I had never done high jump before and didn't know the technique but I think the teacher asked me because of my height and I said, 'No problem'. I won. I was happy that I won because I didn't know anything about high jump. About a month later I was in another competition and I broke the national record. So to break the national record with no knowledge, no technique and without training for it, I was thinking if I can break the record in those circumstances this is something I should consider taking seriously."
Name of coach Denis Doyle [personal], from 2019
International Debut
Year 2002
Competing for St. Lucia
Tournament Commonwealth Games
Location Manchester, ENG
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement Winning a gold medal in the high jump at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (Instagram profile, 26 Nov 2020)
Most influential person in career Her manager Gregory Dickson. (Athlete, 07 Aug 2016)
Hero / Idol Spanish high jumper Ruth Beitia. (Athlete, 07 Aug 2016)
Injuries She sustained a calf injury while warming up at the 2017 Diamond League meet in Rome, Italy. The injury affected her preparations for the 2017 World Championships in London, England. "This one was particularly frustrating because I knew I had a big competition coming up that I couldn't fully prepare for. To miss the world championships final by just one place was not too bad." (worldathletics.org, 13 Jun 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Train hard, compete hard, enjoy my success." (Athlete, 07 Aug 2016)
Awards and honours She was named 2019 Saint Lucian Sportswoman of the Year at the Saint Lucian National Sports Awards, which was the 16th time she had won the award. (Instagram profile, 03 Mar 2020; thevoiceslu.com, 21 Feb 2017; stluciastar.com, 16 Jan 2013; yomagazine.net, 10 Oct 2009)

She was Saint Lucia's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She performed the same role at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (11alive.com, 18 Aug 2016; GNS, 24 Jul 2014; zimbio.com, 26 Jul 2012)

In 2015 she was awarded the Saint Lucia Medal of Merit [gold] by the governor-general of Saint Lucia. (thevoiceslu.com, 12 Feb 2019)
Milestones She became the first athlete representing Saint Lucia to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, when she was victorious in the high jump at the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. She was also the first female athlete representing Saint Lucia to win a Commonwealth Games medal of any colour, with her bronze medal in the high jump at the 2010 Games in Delhi, India. (insidethegames.biz, 14 Apr 2018; SportsDeskOnline, 18 Feb 2021)

She became the first athlete representing Saint Lucia to win a medal at the world youth championships, when she claimed bronze in the high jump at the 2001 edition in Debrecen, Hungary. (slucia.com, 15 Jul 2001)
Other information MOVE TO ENGLAND
In 2019 she began training with coach Denis Doyle at the University of Bath in England. She had previously been based in the United States of America since 2004. "I had been training in the US for 10 to 15 years with the same coaches and they were great. But I am coming to the end of my career [speaking in 2020] and I wanted to try out something different. I thought moving to Europe would make it easier to get to competitions. At meets when your coach isn't with you, other coaches sometimes offer to help. One time at an indoor meet, Denis Doyle helped me and I jumped an indoor personal best so when I decided to go more to Europe, I spoke to him [about working together] and he said, 'Sure'. I am trusting Denis's workouts and what he is trying to get me to do." (Instagram profile, 05 Nov 2020; teambath.com, 09 Sep 2020; runblogrun.com, 22 Mar 2020; stluciatimes.com, 22 Nov 2019)

OLYMPIC MEMORIES
She says the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was the most memorable of her three Olympic Games appearances between 2008 and 2016. Rio saw her place sixth after she finished 24th at the 2008 Games and 19th at the 2012 Games. "All of them were so different. For sure I remember the Beijing Olympics [in] 2008. I was really well prepared and had been jumping well all through the season but then the weather was so bad and I wasn't prepared for those conditions. I don't think we were equipped with the right clothes. It was raining and I had no rain gear so I was soaked. I really liked the 2008 Games village and the opening ceremony was the best I have been to. Rio was history-making. It was the first time that a Saint Lucian ever made the final at any Olympics. So just to qualify for the final was an achievement in itself. I think I jumped better in the qualification with no misses. If the qualification had been the final, I think I would have got a medal. But looking back I am really grateful to place sixth and to end competition without injury." (runblogrun.com, 22 Mar 2020; SportsDeskOnline, 18 Feb 2021)

OUTDOOR PREFERENCE
She prefers outdoor competitions to indoor events. "I'm a better outdoor jumper. I like space and I like the air. A lot of the surfaces are different [indoors]. Some of them are regular track, some of them are laid down track. Sometimes we jump with pole vaulters, sometimes we run across the 60m track. Sometimes you have to stop when someone is running across you. With the spectators right next to you and with so much going on, it is hard to stay focused. I think it's because there is so much going on indoors that I do better outdoors." (runblogrun.com, 22 Mar 2020)

AMBASSADOR
In October 2019 she was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador by the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association [SLHTA]. "What an honour it is to be one of 11 persons selected as ambassadors for my country. I am even more honoured by the fact that I am the only female in this group. Not just the only female ambassador, but the youngest also." The same year she was named Sports and Youth Ambassador for Saint Lucia by the government of Saint Lucia. (Instagram profile, 20 Mar 2020; thevoiceslu.com, 24 Oct 2019; athleticsnacac.org, 01 Apr 2019)