Rio celebrations to cost $82m
Jamaica will spend more than $80 million over the next weekend to honour the nation's athletes who performed with distinction at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In revealing the plans to fete and reward the athletes this weekend, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, said "no monetary award is adequate enough to demonstrate our appreciation of the achievements of our champions."
"The amount for the cash awards (to the delegation) is Jamaican $42 million, and the remainder in cash and kind would be another $40 million in cash and kind (to stage the three-day event)," Grange said yesterday at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.
According to Grange, the hard work and exploits of Jamaican athletes at the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio Brazil, could not go uncelebrated.
Jamaica's 63-member Olympic team finished 16th position overall, and third in track and field behind Kenya and the United States of America.
The Olympic heroes bagged 11 medals; six gold, three bronze and two silver.
Grange explained that the sporting heroes will be celebrated and rewarded, in keeping with the existing policy, despite the country's limited resources.
The reward system for athletes will be as follows: Gold medal winners will receive equivalent of US$10,000, silver medalists US$7,500 and bronze. US$5,000.
For relay gold the equivalent of US$6,000 shared will be shared by all six members and for relay silver - US$4,000. Relay bronze medallists will share US$3,500.
Finalists and other competitors will also be rewarded.
Grange said managers and the officials will get the equivalent of US$1,000.
Meanwhile, 17 athletes will be flown in from overseas for the three days of celebrations. All athletes will be guests of honour at a sports gala and awards ceremony to be held at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday.
On Friday Prime Minister Andrew Holness will host a reception on the lawns of Jamaica House in their honour.
Next Sunday there will be a western Jamaica reception set for 7 p.m. at the Braco Melia Hotel. This will be co-hosted by Grange and Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.