Olympic holiday possible in Ja

KINGSTON, Jamaica – A major bashment is being planned to celebrate the return of Jamaica’s record-breaking athletes after the Olympic Games.

But the details have not yet been worked out and a public holiday remains a possibility.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding was obviously overjoyed yesterday as he welcomed the latest victories at the 29th Olympiad in Beijing, China.

“(It’s a) glorious day for Jamaica as Bolt glides to another world-record victory and Melaine Walker (runs) to Olympic record gold,” he said.

Golding told the weekly post Cabinet media briefing that a five to seven-member committee is being established to plan the celebrations to welcome the athletes and a long-term programme to honour their achievements.

To underscore the importance of this committee, the prime minister will chair it until sports minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange returns from Beijing.

The committee will include a nominee of Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller to ensure that the celebrations cross the political barriers.

Golding noted that no date has yet been set for the main celebrations but the party could begin by September 8, when double gold medal winner Usain Bolt and 100-metre finalist Asafa Powell are scheduled to return to the island.

“One of the things that we are determined to ensure is that Asafa is not left out of the glory,” Golding said. “This is the man who broke the world record for the 100 metres and, despite the setback that he encountered leading up to the final, we want to demonstrate that he still enjoys the love and the admiration of the Jamaican people.”

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