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JIS News

Jamaican athletes who won gold, silver and bronze medals at the Games of the 28th Olympiad and the 12th Paralympics in Athens, Greece were on Friday (Oct. 15) presented with approximately US$54,000 in prizes by the CHASE Fund at a reception hosted by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson at Jamaica House. Of this amount, gold medal winner at the Paralympics Alfanso Campbell received $250,000 while bronze medallist Tanto Campbell was presented with a cheque for $100,000.
The Olympians and paralympians were presented with the cash awards in recognition of their outstanding performance at the Olympics. In June of this year, Mr. Patterson announced the cash incentives for the athletes which he stated, was intended to serve as a ‘spur’ for the level of performance at the games.
In his remarks Mr. Patterson praised the athletes for the distinction, grace and dignity with which they represented Jamaica. He said the athletes have made Jamaica proud and demonstrated to the world the country’s capacity to rise to the highest level. He also commended the paralympians noting that despite the size of the team they not only won medals but set a world record in the discus throwing event.
Mr. Patterson lauded former Olympians for their contribution to Jamaica including the Hon. Herb McKenley who was present at the function. He made special mention of Merlene Ottey, recognizing her for her support of the Jamaican team in Athens and for the distinction that she has brought to Jamaica. The Prime Minister added that it was time for all Jamaicans to embrace her for her contribution.
“I think it is time to mend the fences and heal the breach and to recognise Merlene Ottey for the distinction which she has brought to Jamaica,” Mr. Patterson said.
In closing, Mr. Patterson said he would be working as Chairman of the National Sports Council to see that this is done.