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PM defends cash gifts to athletes

Published:Tuesday | October 16, 2012 | 10:56 AM

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says Jamaicans should stop quarrelling about the $17 million given to athletes, who represented the country at the London Games.

Last evening, the government ended a weekend of celebrations with a musical show honouring the country’s Olympians and Paralympians.

During the ceremony athletes and officials were presented with cash incentives for their contribution.

Among those presented with cheques were gold medalists, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who received $1 million each.

There has been criticism that the $17 million could have been better spent, especially given the country’s economic situation.

However, Simpson Miller said the criticisms are unjustified.

The government spent a total of $57 million on all the events held to celebrate the athletes.