Post-Olympics and Paralympics celebrations culminate today
Jamaica's post-Olympics celebrations will culminate today with a host of activities geared at honouring the island's representatives, two months after their record-breaking performances at the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games in London, England.
Lead by sprint double champion Usain Bolt, Jamaica registered a 12 medal haul at the Olympic Games (four gold, four silver and four bronze); its largest medal tally at the games, while Alphanso Cunningham mined gold at the Paralympic Games in the men's F52/53 Javelin, with a regional record 21.84m.
Several of the nation's top athletes were present at yesterday's service of thanksgiving at the East Queen Street Baptist Church in downtown Kingston, which was also used to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the city of Kingston.
Olympic 100m and 200m silver medalist and 4x100m gold medalist Yohan Blake, women's 100m gold, 200m silver and 4x100m silver medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Paralympics gold medalist Cunningham, 100m bronze medalist and 4x100m silver medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown, 110m hurdles bronze medalist Hansle Parchment, 200m bronze medalist Warren Weir, 400m hurdles finalist Kaliese Spencer , 4x100m gold medalist Michael Frater and women's 4x400m relay bronze medalist Shericka Williams, were among the attendees at the service.
Also in attendance were Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister - Sport, Natalie Neita-Headley and former Sports Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange.
The athletes were later fêted by Prime Minster Portia Simpson-Miller during a cocktail reception at Jamaica House, but the celebrations will go up a notch today.
Jamaica's current track and field stars will pay homage to a legend of the past at the National Heroes Park later today for the unveiling of a new headstone honouring the late Jamaican sprinting great Herb McKinley before the celebrations come to a climax at the National Arena, with a massive celebratory concert featuring some of the biggest names in Jamaican music.
The free concert will be staged under the theme 'Jamaica's Musical History Honouring Our Olympic Journey', and will feature musical representation from all genres of Jamaican music.
Athletes and officials from both the Olympics and Paralympics will receive cash incentives during the concert with gold medal winners receiving cheques of $1,000,000, while silver medalists will pocket $750,000, bronze medalists will get $500,000 and Olympic finalist will receive $350,000. Other participants will be awarded $250,000 while officials will cop $100,000.
There will also be monetary incentives for the world record-breaking men's 4x100m relay team, the silver medal winning women's 4x100m team as well as the bronze medal winning women's 4x400m relay team.