Triple Olympic champion and World Record holder, Usain Bolt, was on Tuesday (Oct. 7), presented with the Keys to the City of Montego Bay by Mayor Charles Sinclair, during a civic ceremony at Sam Sharpe Square.
Amidst tumultuous applause from hundreds of flag-waving citizens who attended the function, Mayor Sinclair presented the city’s highest honour to Bolt, in recognition of the sprinter’s phenomenal performance at the 29th Olympiad in Beijing, China in August. Bolt’s exploits saw him winning the 100/200m sprint double in record times of 9.69 and 19.30 seconds respectively, as well as helping Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team to winning the event, in a record 37.10 seconds.
Other members of the Olympic team, including: Women’s 400m Hurdles gold medallist, Melaine Walker, and Women’s 200m champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown, were also presented with citations and plaques.
In his address, Mr. Sinclair congratulated members of the Olympic team for “displaying the qualities of skilled, seasoned athletes, executing the world’s most impressive athletic performances, (and) making the nation very proud.”
“Today we have the pleasure of honouring our 2008 Olympic representatives, who courageously and confidently flew into the Bird’s Nest Stadium in China with one goal in mind; to go for gold. As a team your performance is unparalleled by past Jamaican delegations in Olympic history.
Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, addresses persons attending the civic ceremony in Sam Sharpe, Montego Bay on Tuesday (Oct. 7), where members of the Jamaican Olympic team to the 29th Olympiad in Beijing, China, in August, were honoured.
“And I say this, not to undermine our efforts in the past, but to highlight to you the importance of this celebration, which will represent the commemoration of the greatest Olympic performance ever to have taken place on the face of this planet. This is not an overstatement, simply a proven fact …these are the facts we will be proud of for years to come,” Mayor Sinclair pointed out.
In his address, Minister of Water and Housing, and Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr. Horace Chang, appealed for the resonation of peace and unity among the populace, even as the country celebrates the Olympians’ success in Beijing, which saw them winning 11 medals, six gold, three silver, and two bronze.
“This team of young men and women has made all Jamaicans very proud. They have demonstrated character, discipline, and professionalism that have taken them to the top of the world, showing that they are the best anywhere, anytime, anyplace. These are characteristics that each of us can emulate. What they have demonstrated on the world’s stage…tells us that we are a proud people, who are among the best in the world,” noted Dr. Chang, who also represented Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, and Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, Olivia Grange.
He urged, that as Jamaica basks in the glory of the Olympians’ exploits, the nation recommits to providing young people with the opportunities to realise their ambitions and goals.