Sunday, 9 September 2012

NEWS/PHOTO: Warm reception for Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt

Olympic 100metres Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, arrived in the island yesterday (September 8) to a warm reception from a large turnout at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

A fanfare, orchestrated by the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF), announced the sprinter’s arrival, moving her to comment that she “felt the love” of all the people receiving her.

Minister with responsibility for Sports, Natalie Neita Headley; Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Anthony Hylton; Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President, Michael Fennell; and Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) President, Dr Warren Blake, headed the reception party meeting the triple Olympic medallist.

Fraser-Pryce is returning home for the first time since competing in the recently concluded London Olympic Games, where she successfully defended her women’s 100metres title. In addition she mined silver medal in the women’s 200metres, and was part of the 4x100metres women’s sprint relay team that won the silver medal, behind the United States.

During a brief reception for her in the airport’s VIP Lounge, Fraser-Pryce, said she was proud of her accomplishments and pleased to have represented Jamaica at the Olympics. She indicated that she and the other athletes had worked very hard to secure their achievements and were grateful for the appreciation being shown to them by the nation.

“We represent our country because we are proud to be Jamaican…we love Jamaica,” she said, noting that all of the athletes are desirous of making the nation proud.

The “Pocket Rocket”, as she is affectionately called, expressed heartfelt gratitude to her husband, relatives, friends, sponsors, and her management team for their support of her pursuits, noting that this and her faith in God, are the factors that motivate her to strive for success.

In congratulating Fraser-Pryce, Neita Headley said the country was proud of her tremendous achievements and thanked her “for having executed so well. We thank you for being the fabulous role model you are for our young people here in Jamaica”.

The Minister said that a special reception is being planned for the athletes who participated in the Olympic Games, “to let all of our Olympians know that Jamaica recognises the value that you bring to the process of development of this country”.

She added that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller will also be hosting a special reception for the athletes at Jamaica House.

Sprint legend Usain Bolt arrived home last night from Miami after a gruelling season during which he successfully defended his Olypmic sprint double and again anchored Jamaica's sprint relay team to a gold medal at the London Olympics in world record time.

 Here, Bolt, who ended his season with a 9.86 victory in the 100m at the Diamond League Memorial Van Damme in Brussels, Belgium on Friday, is greeted on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston by young Khalid Lee. 

At right is Nugent Walker, executive manager of UB Management Ltd. Inset shows the sprint superstar obliging a female fan with a photo.

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