The VIP Lounge
The Norman Manley International Airport
September 12, 2012.
Function Chairman Courtney Lodge; the Honourable Minister Headley Neita; President Samuda, President Mike Fennell of the Jamaica Olympic Association; President Warren Blake of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association; President Milton Samuda of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce; the JPA team of Directors, Managers and my fellow athletes; Dennis Valdez our brother and, through his company Newport Fersan Jamaica, our sponsor; our sponsors, Digicel and the Sports Development Foundation; our very good friends in the media; ladies and gentlemen
London and other paralympic games have taught us that It takes hard work, commitment and belief in yourself to be a champion and to deliver world, regional and personal records. But it takes all of these and more to be a role model, an ambassador for your country.
This is the vision of team paralympic Jamaica. This has been quietly the mission of Alphanso, Sylvia and I as well as our fellow athletes and London 2012 was no different.
When we compete, it is not for self. When we are on the podium, we are not there for self. When we raise our hands in victory on the podium, on international stages, we do so for love of country.
We thank our parents and family for the priceless love and hope that they have given and continue to give to us.
Our coaches, Neville and Jeff, continued in London to demonstrate their abiding faith in us to be world class and their own passion for paralympic sports. They were there for us and so was Kerry, our massage therapist. We salute you gentlemen.
We thank our own athletes for the bond which has been established and which has given us character and propels us each day to be. Alphanso, the anthem was never sweeter and the moment in history which you have now created is more than golden.
We thank our directors and administrators of the JPA for dedicating time and energy and confidently believing in us.
Newport Fersan Jamaica – Dennis and Domingo – not only made our journey to London possible but are part of the paralympic dream and reality. Dennis – one love.
To Digicel and the Sports Development Foundation, we applaud you for the confidence you have placed in us and for the vision that you continue to have in developing sports in Jamaica.
We thank our faithful supporters here and overseas – on facebook, twitter and other social media – for their national pride in sporting achievements for we are impelled to do more when we feel and experience the loyalty of patriots.
Brian, who brought to Jamaica in photographs the emotion, determination, the smiles and triumphs – respect and more respect. And Paul who observed and wrote what he saw with passion – bless.
To the Minister who was there at our launch and on our arrival in London and who we know will continue to be with us on the journey, we offer a hand in building a sport industry which gives meaning and value to the lives of our people.
Mr. Fennel and the JOA, thanks a million for leadership, quality leadership, guidance and support. Mr. Fennell your emails were encouraging and so too is the presence of Dr. Warren Blake, President of the JAAA.
Ladies and gentlemen, the paralympic movement is rolling, it is gathering strength and we who are in it promise to continue to deliver. We have a rich history of numerous gold, silver and bronze medals as well as world and regional records at the Paralympic Games, World Championships and other international events. We have led and will continue to lead the way.
Friends, we really appreciate the warm welcome, the reassurance and friendship. It has been great and I know it will be greater. And as team captain, it has been an honour.
Finally and importantly, let us applaud the media which continue to bring us the breaking news of the day which is: “Jamaica’s Paralympians, the world beat”
Ladies and gentlemen again thanks and continue to live the paralympic dream and to inspire generations.
London Paralympic Games 2012