Janelle Anya Monique Atkinson-Wignall was born in Saint Andrew, Surrey, Jamaica on September 30, 1982. She is a three-time silver medalist who reached the height of her career at the 1999 Pan American Games.
At the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Atkinson was a three-time silver medalist, finishing third in each of the 200-, 400- and 800-metre freestyle events. Atkinson also represented Jamaica at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where she finished fourth in the 400-metre freestyle and ninth in the 800-metre freestyle. Atkinson won two bronze medals in the 400-metre freestyle and 800-metre freestyle at the 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester, England. She also competed in the 200-metre freestyle and 400-metre freestyle for the Jamaican team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. She was named Jamaica's Swimmer of the Year seven consecutive times from 1997 to 2003.