To honour the nation’s athletes who participated in the recent International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), World Championships, in Berlin, Germany, the Government is to host a series of events dubbed, ‘The Berlin Salute – A Tribute to our Athletes’, from October 2 to 4 this year.
This was revealed by Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, at a press conference, held at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel in Kingston, yesterday (September 14), which was part of Usain Bolt’s scheduled activities on his arrival in the island.
“On the 2nd of October, in honor of our fantastic athletes, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture will host what we call the ‘Golden Reception’ at Jamaica House and this is being done under the patronage of Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding and Mrs. Golding,” Miss Grange informed.
Olympic and world sprint record holder, Usain Bolt, arrives for a press conference, held at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel, in Kingston, on September 14, as part of the sprinter’s scheduled activities on his arrival in the island.
She said this event will see the leaders of state, the private sector, and communities and a wide cross section of sports personalities, drawn from track and field and other sporting disciplines, joining the tribute to the athletes and their families.
On Saturday, October 3, a Thanksgiving Service for the athletes will be held at the Portmore Seventh Day Adventist Church, in St. Catherine. Then, on Sunday, October 4, there will be a western celebration fun day and party at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium.
“The activities will begin late afternoon with fun and games for the children, plus mento bands and other attractions for the whole family. We will end the celebration with a big party on the infield of the stadium, featuring performances from popular Jamaican artistes,” Miss Grange informed.
Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller (centre), kisses Olympic and world sprint record holder, Usain Bolt, during a press conference, held at the Terra Nova All-Suites Hotel, in Kingston, on September 14, as part of Usain Bolt’s scheduled activities on his arrival in the island. At right is the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange.
She pointed out that this year’s celebration will not be as elaborate as last year when the athletes returned from the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, but one that “will truly recognise the achievements of our athletes and in fact, it’s a belated birthday party for Usain,” who celebrated his birthday while in Berlin.
“Usain you have worked hard; you have achieved and you deserve some fun time. I know that you cut your season short because you wanted some rest. You have come to the best place in the world for that – Jamaica,” Miss Grange said.
The Jamaican athletes were very successful at the World Games, winning a total of 13 medals, including seven gold, four silver and 2 bronze, and placing second behind the United States in the medal haul.
Usain Bolt was the highlight of the meet, breaking his own world records in the 100 metres, by clocking 9.58 seconds, and in the 200 metres, in a time of 19.19 seconds. He also won a third gold medal in the Men’s 4 x 100 metres relay.