HomeCULTUREVIDEO: Jamaican-Born Man Who Waited 15 Years to Play US Open Polo Tournament
VIDEO: Jamaican-Born Man Who Waited 15 Years to Play US Open Polo Tournament
May 3, 2023
Jamaican polo player Jason Waite was the first Jamaican to play in the US Open Polo Championship final on April 23, 2023. Waite, who is a member of Team Park Place, played the final match at the National Polo Center in Florida against Team Valiente. Waite’s Park Place team won the tournament, the first time in its history, to take a US Open Championship Title with a score of 12 to 11. In addition to the trophy, the team took home $100,000 in prize money. The title, awarded since 1904, is the most prestigious in American polo.
Top Accomplishment of Waite’s Sports Career
Playing in the prominent tournament represented one of the top accomplishments of his career and the long journey of more than ten years he made since leaving Jamaica to pursue his love of the sport. Waite traveled to the US about 15 years ago and being able to play at the level of the US Open tournament meant everything to him.
He said that Jamaica’s polo community is like family to him and has had a key role in helping him toward his career goals. He hopes that his experience will be an inspiration to other Jamaicans who want to play polo and will encourage them to follow their dreams “even if it takes a long time,” he added.
Waite managed to play in the high-level tournament in what was his first season with Team Park Place, and he scored three goals in the team’s tournament run. His opportunity came in 2022 when he was invited to go to Argentina and try out for the team. He said that the chance to learn from some of the best polo players in the world was a priceless experience and he praised the Park Place organization and its personnel.