Olympians Feted at Cultural Presentation


The National Stadium erupted with cheers as members of Jamaica’s victorious 2004 Olympic team entered the grounds yesterday afternoon (October 14).
The Olympians and Paralympians had just completed a motorcade from the Norman Manley International Airport through the streets of Kingston, and had gathered at the stadium for a cultural presentation.
Schoolchildren and adults waved flags and blew whistles as each athlete was introduced to them. Video footage of the victorious performances, particularly the gold-winning 4×100 relay race, were shown on an overhead screen.
Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, in addressing the gathering, noted that it was some 56 years ago, in 1948, that Jamaica first sent a team to the Olympic Games. “From then until now, we have confirmed to the world, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that in track and field athletics, we are a superpower,” he said.
“For the first 30 years, it was our male athletes who dominated. Since then, our ladies have more than made up the stagger. The entire nation stood to attention as we listened, with Veronica, to the strains of our National Anthem,” the Prime Minister added.
Mr. Patterson was referring to Veronica Campbell, who won gold medals in the 200 metres and the 4 x 100 metres relay.
Pointing to the fact that the team gave the best ever performance in terms of the number of finals attained, the Prime Minister said that the nation was equally proud of the dignity and grace with which they represented the country on the world stage.
In his remarks, Leader of the Opposition, Edward Seaga said that the great achievement was not in the number of medals won, but in the quality. “The two gold medals won were outstanding, as this is a rare accomplishment for any country,” he said.
Lauding the work of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA), coaches, parents and administrators, the Opposition Leader added that without these inputs, the greatness could not have been achieved.
Corporate giants, including the Jamaica Observer and the NCB Group made presentations to the President of the JOA, Mike Fennell, as part of their contribution to the home-coming celebrations and their continued assistance to the organization. The NCB Group’s contribution was over $1 million.
The entertainment package featured Tony Rebel, Brick and Lace, Tony Gold, Jamaica School of Dance, To-Isis, Karen Smith, and saxophonist, Dean Fraser.

JIS Social