Minister Hon. Bruce Golding,
Minister of Information, Sports,
Youth & Culture: The Hon.
Olivia "Babsy" Grange,
Members of the Tourism Family,
Members of the Sporting Fraternity,
Member of the Media, Our Beijing
Superstars, Ladies and Gentleman:
Evening. I would like to welcome
you here and thank you for
joining us today to celebrate
our Athletes who represented us
so magnificently at the recent
Beijing Olympics. I am extremely
delighted to be a part of these
celebrations, as I am certain
the entire Jamaica and everyone
here shares this sentiment.
are here this evening to highlight
not only the International fame
that these young Athletes have
brought upon us, but to thank
them for their efforts and determination
and for holding true to their
makes us Jamaicans?
determination, persistence, passion
and pride that we take in
ourselves and our country, our
ability to excel in whatever task
we are given.... Jamaicans far
and wide at home and abroad stands
tall on the WORLD STAGE.
Athletes have come from all walks
of Jamaican Life, from riversides
to mountains, from yam fields,
to the sea... Athletes, we salute
have all done us proud. And
I'm not sure that proud is the
most accurate description for
what Jamaicans at home and abroad
and what we felt in Beijing. It
goes far far far beyond that.
I can't express the elation, sense
of pride and patriotism and sense
of togetherness that your performance
brought about at home, the pictures
from Half Way Tree alone were
your performance was outstanding
and put Jamaica at the forefront
of everyone's mind. People
who never know where Jamaica was
knew that and a whole lot more
about us when we left Beijing.
likkle, but we tallawah!"
are a force to be reckoned with.
We ranked thirteenth (13th) at
this year's Olympics. Thirteenth
(13th) for a small country (as
we are) is an immense achievement.
Jamaica walked away from the Beijing
Olympics with a record number
of medals; and (of course I should
be boasting!) an enviable number
of World and Olympic Records.
Stars, You gave Jamaicans reason
to fly our flags high, hold
our heads up high and to say "Yes,
I'm proud to be Jamaica!"
Congratulations to our Athletes
Bolt, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell
and by extension our long standing
Olympian Donald Quarrie who received
Order of Distinction, Commander
Class for Excellence throughout
their years of performance.
AUDIENCE, PLEASE JOIN ME IN EXTENDING
ANOTHER ROUND OF APPLAUSE.
would also like to extend further
congratulations to the other Athletes
who received the Order of Distinction,
Officer Class, Gold Medalist and
All Athletes who medal at the
games for their outstanding performance.
They will also be recognized tonight
makes us Jamaican? Our Food
Usain for highlighting our food,
when asked what a contributing
factor to your performance was.
is known worldwide for its diverse
cuisine, for being spicy and
full of flavor, our jerked chicken,
curried goat, ackee and saltfish,
our patties, steamed fish....
Never before has so much buzz
been created about that little
tuber called YAM.
Athlete's performance and their
being clean and free of performance
enhancing drugs, despite the
dozens of blood testing, had everyone
wondering why should they be performing
so well, what is the reason behind
it...? Did they not figure drive,
intense training... But there
must be more... diets, lifestyle,
state of mind... now, we have
International researchers trying
to study the properties of yam!
Can you imagine!
have made my job ( and that of
the Jamaica Tourist Board's) somewhat
easier. You helped us the
take Jamaica 'to the World' so
that the World can come to Jamaica.
we went to Beijing, we had specific
marketing goals and objectives
in mind, but your performance
there really took us to a whole
'nother' level. China, as you
may know represents one of the
'Emerging Markets': it is one
of the most spectacular example
of growth in the global economy,
and signals a myriad of opportunities
for Jamaica, and not only tourism
our starting point was a strategic
one. Our overall aim was economic
yes, but with that we would gain
wider societal benefits through
closer partnerships and a better
relationship with China. Our mission
was to put Jamaica out there,
so to speak, to sensitize China
(through Tour Operator, travel
agents, and other holiday makers)
that we did, but you guys really
made it seem less like "work"
First's Launched in Beijing by
the Jamaica Tourist Board
(JTB) also launched initiatives
the World had never seen before
there in Beijing: We launched
a Loyalty Card, and THE World
Beach Sprint set to take place
next year, 2009 in Negril and
most importantly Jamaica will
stage the prestigious World Athletics
Award of April 2009.
is an area, where before, no one
gave much credence to: it
was left under the carpet and
not many people saw the opportunities
that is could have for our economy.
Now, of course, all that has changed
and my colleague Minister, along
with my Ministry, are now pursuing
this partnership and ironing out
some plans. Several key players
have been sold on the idea and
are now realizing that positive
opportunities that can arise from
this unexplored area.
Negril Beach Sprint, scheduled
for November 2009, will be
one to watch, as we are expecting
quite a few International Athletes
and their friends and families
to participate in a few friendly
races on the beach.
got a lot more exposure than we
thought we would have going
there. You have helped to position
Jamaica as a prime destination
option for China and for the rest
of the World, especially those
who got a chance to meet a Jamaican...
Your performance has strengthened
the power of Brand
and Destination Jamaica!
I won't keep you too long,
back to reveling in the afterglow
our our Athletes' performance!
to our star team: I thank you
for showcasing Jamaica in such
a positive light. Enjoy and revel
in these celebrations being staged
in your honour. You deserve this
and so much more.
congratulate and praise you all
for your accomplishments and encourage
you to put your head and heart
to your future endeavours With
that attitude you will succeed.
to International Media)
our visitors and International
media here wondering what's
in the water, or in our food,
or in the air... what makes Jamaicans
so great.... This is the answer
to you all...
you go, you know!"
and Gentleman, I could not close
the work of an important organization
whose efforts helped make this
evening's event possible. I speak
of the Jamaica Athletic Association
- the J-AAA's and its sterling
contribution to sport and the
development of Jamaica's Athletes
throughout the years. In recognition
of your efforts, the Ministry
of Tourism in association with
its agencies would like to present
this plaque for the excellence
in leadership provided by the
Jamaica Athletics Association
to the Jamaican Athletes who performed
outstanding in the 13th staging
of the Olympics 2008, Beijing
China. I invite a representative
of the J-Three A to come forward
for the presentation.
this point, the Hon. Minister
makes the presentation to the
J-Three A representative)
and Gentleman: Please enjoy the
rest of this evening's festivities.