Statement to Parliament by the Prime Minister
Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller ON, MP
On the Performance of Jamaica’s Athletes at the
15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China
Mr. Speaker, from August 22 to 30 the entire world was dazzled by the glorious display of athletic brilliance, talent and dominance of a team of amazing young men and women, who represent the very best of Brand Jamaica.
All Jamaicans felt the mix of emotions including anxiety, hope, and purposeful determination, as our athletes lined up and competed in event after event.
I am sure that every Member of this Honourable House on both sides of the Aisle will agree with me that our athletes in Beijing made us proud to be Jamaicans.
On behalf of a grateful and supremely proud nation, I commend Jamaica’s sportsmen and sportswomen for their dedication and outstanding representation of our nation and our people.
The country’s athletes across various sporting disciplines continue to give of their best. They embody the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the nation and represent the very best of our culture and talents.
All Jamaica’s athletes who competed in the World Championships distinguished themselves and contributed valiantly to the country’s illustrious performance winning 12 medals with an all-time high of seven gold, two silver and three bronze. Their stellar achievements represent a clear reminder of the outcome and benefit of hard work, discipline, dedication, ambition, faith and a focus.
I am so proud of this memorable performance of all my children and Jamaica’s young men and women, during the entire championship.
In the journey for greater national development, the entire nation can take inspiration from the examples of hard work, discipline, teamwork and determination demonstrated yet again by Jamaica’s athletes.
At these games, another legendary Jamaican cemented his place at the very pinnacle of Sport and ranks among, if not above, all other all-time greats in global Sporting history. I speak of Dr. the Hon. Usain St. Leo Bolt, who continues to inspire Jamaica and the world with his legendary performance on the track. I salute Usain as a national brand ambassador extraordinaire, not only for taking the best of Jamaica to the world, but also for his superb representation of the best of athletics and sports in general.
Our local hero of Sherwood Content, Trelawny, Jamaica is yet again, the undisputed global champion and sporting icon of the world.
I congratulate our women sprint world champion, Pocket Rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce on her gold medal win in 100 metres. Shelly-Ann continues to represent Jamaica with distinction and remains consistent in her representation of personal and national excellence. She continues to inspire the Jamaican nation and people. She is forever reminding us that we are all capable of achieving greatness if we dream big and apply ourselves steadfastly to the accomplishment of our ambitions.
I am very pleased that both Shelly-Ann and Usain successfully and convincingly defended their 100 metre titles in Beijing.
In fact Mr. Speaker, the world sprint legend, in fine style, also defended his 200 metres champion status. Usain has proven his standing as an all-time great who has established a class for himself in sprinting. No accolade is too great this great Jamaican son.
We know that Jamaica’s long term future in global athletics is secure when we witness the golden exploits of young Danielle Williams in in the women 100 metres hurdles.
And oh how the hearts of all Jamaicans around the world were again lifted to unprecedented heights of joy, by our male and female relay teams.
We were all cheering as one nation for the Jamaican team.
I congratulate both the women and men squads most sincerely for their absolutely brilliant golden relay runs in 4×100 and our women in the 4×400. No praise is too great for the women 4×400 metres gold medal-winning relay team, the members of which showed exceptional strength and determination.
I am also particularly proud of our dependable men 4×400 team who gave their all as once again, they did their national duty of representing Jamaica proudly and with total commitment.
The relays require great discipline, hard work, consistency and teamwork and our athletes have repeatedly delivered to prove once again, our athletic supremacy in the world.
I want to also place on record my respectful salute and that of our entire nation to:
- Elaine Thompson, who took silver in the 200 metres;
- Hansle Parchment for winning silver in the 110 metres hurdles;
- Veronica Campbell-Brown, winner of the bronze medal in the women’s 200 metres;
- Shericka Jackson, who earned bronze in the women’s 400 metres at her first World Champs outing; and
- O’Dayne Richards, who won Jamaica’s first Shot Put medal at a World Championships earning the bronze medal with a national record.
I commend all the athletes who worked so hard and made the finals of their events and those who didn’t, but represented their country with grace, dignity and pride.
I give God thanks that Jamaica continues to be blessed with the greatest athletics tradition in the world supported by our supremely talented world class athletes, great coaches and other support staff, committed and competent sporting administrators and a supportive public.
The technical and administrative teams which support the athletes, and Jamaica’s school and community based athletics culture and programmes continue to be important support systems for our country’s athletes.
I again want to recognise the achievements of Jamaica’s sport administrators internationally. I again congratulate the General Secretary of Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Mr. Garth Gayle on his election to the Technical Committee of the IAAF during the Federation’s congress in Beijing.
We also congratulate former British Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe (a friend of Jamaica) on his election as President of the IAAF.
Jamaica’s outstanding performance at the World Champs followed other significant achievements by our sport men and women in other encounters including but not limited to:
- The National Paralympic Team for their brave and impressive performance at the recently concluded Para-Pan Games in Canada.
- The remarkable achievement of our special Olympians who earned 29 medals at the Special Olympics World Summer Games held Los Angeles, California.
- The Sunshine Girls, for their spirited participation in Netball World Cup held recently in Australia.
- Jamaica’s women cricketers for their second place finish against Barbados at the Super 50 Finals;
- Alia Atkinson’s gold medal performance in the 50 M breaststroke at the recent FINA Swimming World Cup in Paris, France and her silver medal and national record achievement in the 50 M as well as earning bronze in the 100 M at the recent FINA World Championships in Russia; and
- The Reggae Boyz for a strong performance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final in July.
I know all Members of this Honourable House join me in extending best wishes to our young athletes who are about to take part in the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa from September 5 to 12.
May the example of our athletes continue to be a source of glorious positive transformation in the life journey of our nation and our people.
We thank the Almighty for his blessing upon our athletes and upon our people of Jamaica.