The Norman Manley International Airport will be ignited on October 23 when the Honourable Natalie Neita-Headley, Minister with responsibility for Sport, unveils the Paralympic Petal, which was extracted from the games’ flame and is a gift to the JPA from the London 2012 Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in commemoration of the Paralympic event.
Each national Paralympic association, which had athletes participating in the games, received a petal from the cauldron flame which burned during what is now widely considered to be the best games of the modern paralympiad.
The cauldron was designed by celebrated British Architect, Thomas Heatherwick, and consisted of a series of handmade copper “petals”. Mr Heatherwick said, that the “single great flame” represented “a symbol of the peaceful gathering of the world’s nations brought together in a celebration of human achievement.
The unveiling will take place in a ceremony which will have all the pomp and pageantry expected of such a momentous event and it is only fitting that the petal will be sited at Jamaica’s first international airport named after an athlete extraordinare, national hero, the Rt. Excellent Norman Washington Manley.
Government officials, Presidents and Secretaries General of Jamaica Sport Associations and Federations, corporate and private sector executives, members of the diplomatic corp, JPA Directors and sponsors as well as our Paralympians will all witness this historic occasion and by doing so will become a part of Jamaica’s sporting history.
The petal will enjoy pride of place at the entrance to the passenger departure area of the airport. It will be so sited that all leaving our shores will be made to have an inspiring and lasting visual of a memento of our athletes and reminded of Jamaica’s prodigious presence in the international arena of sport.
President Samuda remarked: “the cauldron was a magnificent artistic expression that embodied the burning aspirations of peoples of the world united by sport and inspired by athletic excellence”.