Grenada’s Athletic and Football Stadium will bear the name the Kirani James Stadium when rebuilt under a multi-million dollar agreement with Mainland China.
This was one of the major announcements made by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas on Saturday night at a public ceremony held at the National Stadium at Queen’s Park in St. George’s in honour of the 20-year old athletic star.
Addressing thousands of Grenadians from all walks of life who flocked to the stadium for the ceremony, the Prime Minister said that the Government of Grenada decided to make available to James half a million dollars in Government Bonds as part of the package of rewards for the London Olympic games gold medallist in the 400 metres.
THE NEW TODAY understands that James will get $100, 000 E.C dollars in bonds annually over a five year period.
Prime Minister Thomas announced that September 1, Kirani’s Birthday would forever be known in the Spice Isle as Kirani’s Day. “This day, September 1st, will henceforth be known as KIRANI DAY!”
The Grenadian leader disclosed that in addition to the naming of the stadium and the bonds to be received, James will be appointed a Tourism Ambassador, Commemorative Stamps will be published in his honour, a Museum, and a Resource and Fitness Centre will be built in Gouyave, St John, which is Kirani’s hometown.
The Prime Minister told thousands of jubilant Grenadians dressed in national colours and waving the national flag that Cabinet will appoint a national project team that will be mandated to go to every parish and to give guidance to all-important interest groups, sporting associations, businesses and the church community.
James, the World and Olympic 400-metre champion, celebrated his 20th Birthday on Saturday.
During the ceremony, some of the corporate entities in the country showered a number of gifts on the world-rated athlete including monetary donations and expensive jewellery.
Columbian Emeralds donated a necklace, bracelet, ring and a watch and Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited announced that its Board of Directors at a meeting approved EC$100,000 for the track athlete.
A massive birthday cake in the design of the athletic tracks and a gold medal was presented to the “”The Jaguar” on Saturday night.
Kirani will also be getting a parcel of land at Palmiste, St. John valued in excess of $100,000.00, compliments Social Worker, Sandra Ferguson and her Attorney-At-Law brother, Ruggles Ferguson of Ciboney Chambers.
Kirani’s parents, Pamela James and Durani Marshall were also presented with gift hampers from Duty Free Caribbean.
The evening was laced with entertaining performances from Calypsonians, Poets, dancers and singers in recognition of Kirani’s Olympic victory and in recognition of his birthday.
The national rally followed a day-long islandwide motorcade, as the world youngest 400 metres champion gave his countrymen an opportunity to see him in person.
Thousands of Grenadians received autographs and shook the hands of the man who brought home Grenada’s first Olympics gold medal.
The three-hour rally signaled the end of three days of official celebrations since Kirani’s homecoming last week Thursday night at an official welcome home ceremony at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).
The St George’s skyline lit up with a massive and impressive fireworks display to close the celebrations.
James was presented with his diplomatic passport on Monday morning, shortly before he left for the United States to resume classes at his Alabama University.
James became the first non-U.S. athlete to run the 400m in less than 44 seconds and is also the first non-U.S. winner of the race since the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.