Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has announced that the unveiling of the statue of the world’s greatest athlete, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, will take place on Friday, October 13 at the National Stadium.
“The unveiling is [set for] 5:30 on Friday (afternoon) …following that will be a reception in honour of our track and field athletes who went to the World Championships in August,” said Grange.
According to a release from the ministry, Grange has extended an invitation to the public to attend the unveiling ceremony.
“The public is invited. We’re asking that they come out early and give Usain all their love and appreciation and to get the first look at the life size statue that will be unveiled of Usain Bolt. And I know they will not be disappointed.”
The bronze sculpture was designed by renowned Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson and arrived in the island “during the past 24 hours,” according to the minister.
The statue of Usain Bolt is the first of four statues of national sports stars that were commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme.
The reception for the World Championship team (which is a private event) and the unveiling of the Bolt statue highlight activities for the celebration of Heritage Week.
“Heritage Week will be massive,” said Grange who highlighted that there will be a National Reparations Youth Baton Relay, beginning in Heritage Week, and organised by the National Council on Reparations as part of the public education programme about the Government’s reparations agenda. “We will have Dr Julius Garvey (son of National Hero Marcus Garvey) visiting during this period and there will be a run with athletes across the island to take the message of reparations to the people of Jamaica,” said Grange.
The National Reparations Youth Baton Relay will be staged over three months.
Additionally, Heritage Week activities will highlight Jamaica’s rich heritage in music, sport and literature. The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, the National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust are organising a series of activities in every parish; while the ministry is staging a Heritage Concert “From Kete to Reggae” on Saturday, October 14 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, starting at 7:00 pm.
Heritage Week officially begins on Sunday, October 8 with the National Heritage Week Interfaith Service at the University Chapel, Mona starting at 4 O’clock in the afternoon.