Cauldron petal gift unveiled at NMIA
Marc Stamp, Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Paralympic Association unveiled a cauldron petal gift from the 2012 London Paralympic Games at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) departure lounge on Friday.
The cauldron petal symbolises the warmth and friendship among the 164 nations that participated at the Paralympic Games two years ago.
"Indeed, you will recall that in 2012 our Paralympians were celebrated in the very same light as their counterparts who had participated weeks earlier at the Olympic Games. Their prizes and awards were exactly the same," Natalie Neita-Headley, minister with responsibility for sports, said during her keynote address.
"The recent enactment of the Disabilities Act is a critical legislative step in this process. The Government of Jamaica recognises that enabling laws must be in place and carefully implemented in order to provide the relevant context for development and progress. This is more so when it relates to a community of persons who, but for some challenges, do not enjoy the same level of freedom of movement and opportunities as others.
"As minister with responsibility for sports, I am committed to the cause for equality of opportunity and privilege within the sporting fraternity. I am committed to building new beginnings and new horizons and invite your support in this labour of love.
"The petal which we unveiled will stand from this day into the future as a symbol of the Paralympic glory - the grit, determination, character, mettle and success of our athletes of whom we are proud," the minister told the gathering.
Meanwhile, Edmund Jones, a Jamaica Paralympic Association director, gave an overview of cauldron petal.
"The presentation of petals began on November 7, 2012 to the British Olympic Association. All petals were presented to the respective countries by the end of 2012," Jones disclosed.
"The Olympic cauldron comprised 204 separate copper petals and the Paralympic cauldron, 164, one for each of the nations that participated," he added.
David Fitton, British high commissioner, said: "The London Paralympic Games was a huge success. The petal is a symbol of what the Games represent. I hope this will be an inspiration towards the 2016 Games in Brazil."
CAPTION - Natalie Neita-Headley, minister with responsibility for sports, looking
at the cauldron petal along with Christopher Samuda, (right), president
of the Jamaica Paralympic Association; David Fitton (second right),
British high commissioner; and Olympian Tanto Campbell after it was
unveiled at the Norman Manley International Airport on Friday. The petal
was presented to the country as a souvenir after the cauldron was
dismantled following the Games. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer