Grenadians are finally getting an opportunity this weekend to celebrate with the country’s first ever Olympic Gold Medallist, Kirani James.
The Jaguar who brought home the country’s first Olympic medal earlier in the month came home Thursday night to a warm welcome by hundreds of Grenadians who converged on the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) for the momentous occasion.
Dubbed the “Golden Boy”, Kirani touched down on his home soil for the first time since the history-making event in London.
In preparation for the homecoming celebration, Youth Empowerment and Sports (YES) Minister, Patrick Simmons told the media on Tuesday that a holistic plan had been put in place for the weekend’s celebration.
The celebration was put together by the YES Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Lana McPhail who co-chairs the planning committee along with the PS in the YES Ministry, Veda Bruno-Victor announced that a package, approved by Cabinet, is to be given to James on this visit.
While not disclosing what is contained in the package, McPhail said it would be unveiled during a national rally and cultural extravaganza to be held at the Grenada National Stadium tomorrow (Saturday) to close off a national motorcade to parade the star athlete to nationals around the country.
The day’s activities will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a Thanksgiving Service at the Kirani James Boulevard, and then followed by the islandwide motorcade, which goes first into the west coast parishes of St. John’s and St. Mark’s, St. Patrick’s and St. Andrew’s and then along the east coast of St. David’s and back into St. George’s.
The motorcade will culminate at the stadium where the national rally, cultural extravaganza and disclosure of the package will take place. James would also be celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday.
On Sunday, activities move to Gouyave, St. John’s from 10:00 a.m. where a youth motivational programme would be launched at Gun Battle where James would be used as a model for the youth of Grenada, especially the young male who are continuously left behind.
During the rest of the day, the Olympic Gold Medallist would be engaged as a Tourism Ambassador.
McPhail is encouraging everyone to be part of the historic occasion by wearing national colours as they show solidarity and support for the country’s “Golden Boy.”
Bruno-Victor said the motorcade will make interval stops at major areas of the country where James would be able to meet and greet people.
She described the homecoming of the international track athlete as not just a Grenada celebration but also one for the entire OECS since winning a Gold Medal is not an easy feat.
“Our country is on show and we have to show too the best that Grenada has to offer,” she added.
While it is expected that only Decathlon Kurt Felix would be the lone member of the Olympic team to join James in the celebration, the planned homecoming celebration is for the entire team.
James clocked 43.94 secs to win the men’s 400m at the London Olympics Games on August 6, to become the first non-American to run under the 44 secs barrier in the event.