Mon | Jul 16, 2018

Red Stripe Grandstand | Rio: Where Dreams Were Made

Published:Sunday | August 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Red Stripe GO for GOLD winners and other members of te team getting ready to head home.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

As the curtain comes down on one of the most exciting summer Games in recent history, our Red Stripe GO for GOLD winners reflect on the fantastic experience they had in the South American country.

They recount the opportunity they had to be in the stands of the Maracana Stadium witnessing the unfolding of history.

They laughed, they screamed and they cried tears of overwhelming joy as they watched their fellow countrymen and women dominate the tracks. The initial disbelief they felt when they first received the call that they had each won a trip to see the summer Games in Rio de Janeiro immediately vanished when they boarded the flight

at the Norman Manley International Airport. Their journey to the summer Games had begun and they were intent on savouring every moment of what was in store for them.

"I started out as just one of the Red Stripe Go for GOLD winners, and this experience has ended with me feeling like a superstar. Red Stripe turned an ordinary Jamaican into a celebrity in Brazil and I will never forget this," said an elated Sandra Hill.

The 20-member group left Jamaica on August 11, 2016 in fine style, having enjoyed the VIP treatment of the Club Kingston lounge. With a packed itinerary and a very capable bilingual chaperone, they were all too eager to get a taste of what Brazil had to offer.

Their night at Jamaica House in Rio gave them a welcomed reminder of home, and the tour of Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain gave them a taste of life as tourists. They met local and international dignitaries, enjoyed local cuisine, and the men of the group, they thoroughly enjoyed being mistaken for the fastest man on the planet.

For winner Renee Codner, it was an unforgettable experience. "This is my first time travelling outside of Jamaica and it was interesting to see the differences and some strong similarities between Jamaicans and Brazilians. I want to thank Red Stripe for making it happen. I am a huge sports fan, so this is a trip of a lifetime."

"I didn't enjoy the food so much. I just love my Jamaican cooking and I really miss that ... but the people are nice and very friendly," added Codner.

The return to Jamaica is bittersweet for this fun-loving group. They are excited to share their stories with family and friends, but sad to see the experience come to an end.