The diminutive powerhouse struck her country’s first blow in the battle for sprint supremacy at London 2012 by defending her 100m Olympic title with an explosive performance, easing past the field after 50m with an unstoppable burst of speed.
Running with a patriotic flash of gold ribbon in her hair, Fraser-Pryce – the fourth-fastest woman sprinter of all time and the first Jamaican in history to win 100m gold – clocked 10.75s in the race.
As she looked at the Olympic stadium scoreboard and realised she had won – and become the first non-American to score back-to-back Olympic 100m titles – she dropped to the ground and wept.
Back in 2008 at Beijing, the bubbly 21-year-old from Kingston was little known, but tagged as a possible emerging talent – and then stormed to gold in Beijing.
She followed up her shock win a year later by taking the world title in Berlin, becoming the second female sprinter in history to simultaneously hold both Olympic and world 100m titles. The records kept coming.
That same year Fraser-Pryce proved that her success in China was no flash in the pan and broke the 11secs barrier seven times in 16 races, as well as taking silver in the 4x100m relay at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Prior to the London Games, and with a automatic bye into the World Championships as reigning 100m champion, Fraser-Pryce – just 5ft 3in tall – focused on strength training by incorporating more 200m races into her 2011 season.
She took gold at the Jamaica Classic and Jamaica Invitational meets in Kingston and finished third at the Diamond League Weltklasse Zurich competition.
But it was to be the shorter race in London that catapulted her to international fame – older, wiser and more confident.
After her stunning 100m victory she said: “It’s completely different to Beijing because there I was inexperienced. I was young and I never believed I could win. This time I was a bit nervous but I believed in God and I trusted him to carry me through.”
She added: “I don’t like the 200m as much as the 100m, but it does help me for the 100m. In the 100m final in London for example, I didn’t start too well but managed to make up for it, which I owe to my 200m training.”
Four days later, she made it to the 200m final but lost out to Allison Felix, finishing just 0.21secs behind her American rival. Despite this Jamaica dominated the track events as never before.
In common with her fellow Jamaican athletes – who made up 57 of the country’s 60 competitors – Fraser-Pryce returned home a hero and was greeted by her country’s president. Now the sprinter, who still trains exclusively with her local track club in Kingston, is determined to give something back.
Not only does she work as a UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador, she has also spearheaded calls for better sports facilities in her home country and campaigned for help for underprivileged families.
As for competing in Rio in 2016, she is undecided. After the London Games she told a press conference: “After 2008 in Beijing I did focus on London. Now Rio seems far away. For the time being, I will focus for some time on being in the moment.”