Jamaican Olympians to be honored

Jamaican Herbert McKenley (90) crosses the finish line first in the third qualifying heat of the 400-meter dash during the Summer Olympics in Wembley stadium, London, Aug. 4, 1948.
AP Photo

Jamaican athletes will share about J$30 million for their exploits in the London Olympics last August.

The figure was announced by the government recently, which is half of the $60 million being spent to reward and celebrate the athletes in a grand home coming for the Heroes Day week-end later this month.

The activities will include a church serviced, a cocktail reception to be hosted by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller followed by the main public event at the National Arena.

“This celebration is for individuals who have represented their country and communities in an excellent way and will be an appreciation of them,” said Minister with responsibility for Sport Natalie Neita-Headley.

Individual gold medal winners will receive a cash gift of J$1 million, silver and medal winners J$750,000 and bronze medalist $500,000.

An athlete making the final, will collect J$350,000, while each participant will take home J$250,000.

Relay gold medal winners will receive J$3 million, silver J$2.4 million and bronze medalist J$1.8 million.

The rest of the money will cover other expenditures ranging from the prime minister’s reception, airfare and accommodation to the main event at the national arena. A highlight of the day will be a wreath-laying and unveiling of a headstone for Herbert McKenley, the world’s fastest 400-meter runner about 50 years ago.

Fifty athletes in four sporting disciplines – track and field, swimming, taekwondo and equestrian- represented Jamaica at the London Olympics.

Jamaica won a record 12 medals – four gold, four silver and four bronze.

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