The majestic sound of the National Anthem reverberated in the International Zone of the Paralympic Village in Guadalajara at approximately 16:55p.m. Mexico time as the national flag was hoisted signaling the official endorsement of Jamaica’s participation in the 2011 Parapan American Games.
The Flag Raising Ceremony was hosted on Thursday by the National Paralympic Committee of Mexico and was not without pageantry and a cultural expose by the host country in dance.
Mayor of the Paralympic Village, Willem Nicolaas Van der Kaaij, delivered the welcome address in which he expressed a commitment to a successful staging of the games and best wishes to Jamaica and the Republic of Suriname whose national flag was also elevated in the ceremony.
Jamaica’s Chef de Mission, Christopher Samuda, in his address stated that “Jamaica is so proud yet humbled to be an integral part of the humanity of the paralympic movement and is committed to advancing the cause, challenging successfully prejudices and creating a new vision of equity in olympic pursuits and other endeavours.”
In recognition and appreciation of the hospitality of the hosts, the Mayor was presented with satchels of the revered Blue Mountain Coffee by the Chef de Mission.
But it was a navy blue and gold clad quartet of Mexico’s National Cadet, with Jaxon type headgears and plumes, which marched in unison (with the black, green and gold folded in white gloved hands) to the platform, unfolded the flag while simultaneously poling it and then gave a salute as it was raised to the sound of the anthem.
The national flag now flies in the village where over three thousand athletes spanning the Americas will seek in the coming week personal honour and glory for their country.