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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, used Saturday's (August 6) staging of the Independence Day grand gala to rally support for Jamaica’s athletes competing in the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Addressing a packed National Stadium, Mr. Holness called for a “big Jamaican cheer” for the athletes, who were tuning in to a live feed of the proceedings, to which the crowd responded with screams, the blaring of vuvuzelas and the waving of flags.
  • He said he believes the energy generated by the crowd was resonating to the 63 Jamaicans participating in the Games.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, used Saturday’s (August 6) staging of the Independence Day grand gala to rally support for Jamaica’s athletes competing in the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Addressing a packed National Stadium, Mr. Holness called for a “big Jamaican cheer” for the athletes, who were tuning in to a live feed of the proceedings, to which the crowd responded with screams, the blaring of vuvuzelas and the waving of flags.

He said he believes the energy generated by the crowd was resonating to the 63 Jamaicans participating in the Games.

“They are our greatest ambassadors. They represent us to the world and I know that we are all praying for them, willing them on and I want to say to them, good luck,” the Prime Minister said.

He expressed confidence that the team will work hard to “bring home gold and glory for Jamaica.”

Some 1,000 performers participated in the grand gala in celebration of the country’s 54th year of Independence under the theme: ‘Let’s get together and feel alright’.

The event, staged under the theme: ‘Youth Arising,’ showcased the energy and dynamism of Jamaica’s young people, with segments on youth in education, youth in technology, and youth as creators of cultural expressions.

Among the acts were Kevin Downswell, Kamelia Isaacs, Capleton, Gyptian, G-Whizz, Nesbeth and the Dragonaires.

There was also a performance called ‘Generation Gap’ featuring comedians Ity and Fancy Cat and Oliver Samuels, as well as 2016 Festival Song winner, O’Neil Scott.

The grand gala was organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), which is an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

The event, which featured a spectacular fireworks display, culminated celebrations for the Emancipation-Independence period.