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Office of the Prime Minister


OJ for Usain Among Other Honours

Issued by: Office of the Prime Minister
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World 100m and 200m sprint record holder Usain Bolt (centre) shares a laugh with Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding (right) and Minister with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications, Hon. Daryl Vaz. Usain paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister and his Cabinet shortly after arriving in Jamaica after a successful record-breaking track season in Europe, where he broke his two sprint world records.

World sprint record holder, Usain Bolt, will be inducted into the Society of the Order of Jamaica (OJ).

This was announced by Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, during Parliament's sitting yesterday (September 15).

"When so conferred he will, at 23 years, be the youngest ever recipient of the Order of Jamaica and will be referred to as the Honourable Usain Bolt. Cabinet yesterday approved the appointment of Mr. Bolt as Ambassador-at-Large and he will be afforded full diplomatic status," explained Mr. Golding.

The Prime Minister also said that Government will rename Highway 2000 the Usain Bolt Highway, in honour of "this extraordinary, gifted son of Jamaica."

Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said she supported the decision by the Government for the World Champion to be granted full diplomatic status, as he is an inspiration to the children of the world.

The Prime Minister said the Government is determined to build up the achievements of the athletes by using a strategy designed around two critical objectives. "We will provide the infrastructural and institutional support to enhance the performance of our athletes, that will enable many more Jamaicans to become world class athletes and to fully exploit the multi-faceted benefits that can be derived from our recognised status as a country of athletic prowess," he said.

Mr. Golding pointed out that the Ministries of Youth, Sports and Culture; Industry, Investment and Commerce and Tourism as well as their related agencies are collaborating in the development of the strategy. He said more details will be provided in due course.

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