Gov’t to Celebrate Rio Athletes

The 2016 Olympic and Paralympic athletes will receive cash awards totalling $42 million in honour of their outstanding performances at the recent summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange said the monetary reward is part of activities to celebrate the athletes’ rich medal haul.

The three-day celebration will take place during the National Heroes weekend from October 14 to 16.

“A special planning committee was convened to discuss how best to demonstrate, in tangible ways, our gratitude to our athletes and their management teams. Whatever we do, we can acknowledge that there can be no monetary award that is adequate to demonstrate our appreciation for the achievements of our champions. We hope that, in some way, this will give credence to our gratitude,” she said.

Ms. Grange was addressing a press conference on October 11 at Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.

The reward system will be as follows: gold medallists – US$10,000; silver medallists – US$7,500; and bronze medallists – US$5,000; relay gold medallists – US$6,000; relay silver medallists – US$4,000; relay bronze medallists – US$3,500; finalists – US$3,500; non-finalists – US$2,500; and managers and officials – US$1,000.

The cash prizes for the relay teams will be equally divided among the members.

Funding for the cash prizes is being provided by the Sports Development Foundation.

This is the second occasion that the Government is awarding the athletes with cash prizes. The first presentation was made in 2012 to salute outstanding performances at the London Olympics.

The Heroes weekend celebrations, estimated to cost $40 million, will kick off on Friday, October 14 with a reception hosted by Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness on the lawns of Jamaica House.

This will be followed by the Rio Sports Gala and Awards Ceremony at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday, October 15, where the athletes, coaches and other officials will be presented with the cash prizes.

The activities will culminate on Sunday, October 16 with the Jamaica National 5K Run/Walk. This fundraiser is in aid of charities in western Jamaica and is sponsored by the Jamaica National (JN) Group with support by the Usain Bolt Foundation.

A reception, commencing at 7:00 p.m. will also be hosted at the Melia Braco Village, Trelawny, in honour of the athletes.

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