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World and Olympic triple record holder Usain Bolt and double Olympic Gold Medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown have been appointed UNESCO Champions for Sport.
The announcement was made by Honourable Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, at a news conference at MICYS this morning.
Minister Grange read from a letter she received from Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO, in which he stated his decision to appoint Usain and Veronica UNESCO Champions for Sport.
Mr. Matsuura said he wished to congratulate Minister Grange and Jamaica’s athletes for their accomplishments at the games of the 29th Olympiad. “The memories of their breathtaking performances in Beijing, which were a testament to hard work and dedication, will remain with us for a long time to come,” the Director General said in his letter.
He said that the athletes’ achievements, have also helped to show the limitless potential of small island developing states and their ability to compete on a global scale in a variety of endeavours.
The letter continued that, “your country possesses an incredible depth of sporting talent. In my view both Mr.Usain Bolt and Mrs. Veronica Campbell-Brown, possess the sporting prowess and values and ethics that discern UNESCO Champions for Sport.
“Mr. Bolt’s performances at the Beijing Olympics were truly remarkable and I strongly believe that he has the potential for greater sporting achievements as his career progresses. He also has the ability to draw the world’s attention to a number of pertinent issues facing the world through his celebrity. In this regard, I was very impressed by his willingness to assist the victims of the devastating earthquakes in China.
“Mrs. Campbell Brown also possesses the sporting credential; and values to be appointed as a UNESCO Champion for Sport. She serves as a model for all to follow, demonstrating what can be accomplished through determination and hard work. Her sporting and academic success can be used to promote the values for gender equity and to encourage women through the Caribbean and the rest of the world to follow their dreams.”
Miss Grange said that although the UNESCO Director General had suggested that a recognition ceremony for Usain and Veronica be held at the start of the International Congress on Sport for Peace and Development this weekend, the ceremony will be reserved for the impending celebrations for our Beijing team next month.
Toady’s news conference was called primarily to provide information on the International Congress on Sports for Peace and Development, which MICYS is partnering with UNESCO, to stage at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, from the 13th to the 16th September 2008.