News

Grenadian Lawmaker Urges Nationals to Rally Around Country’s Olympians

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 27, 2012

Above: Kirani James

By Michael Bascombe
CJ Sport Contributor

ST GEORGE’S, GRENADA — A Grenadian Parliamentarian is urging his nationals to support their Olympians for the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer.

Senator Arley Gill, who is also the Culture Minister in the Grenada Government, said that this is the best opportunity for Grenada to medal at the Olympic Games, which are scheduled for July 27 to Aug. 12.

“I believe that the entire nation must start rallying around our athletes for the 2012 Olympics,” he said. “Not just Kirani [James] but Rondell [Bartholomew] and all the other athletes in 2012,” Senator Gill told a sitting of the Grenada Senate on Tuesday.

“August 2012 could very well be a watershed moment in the development of the country,” he said.

Senator Gill suggested that a “Mini-Carnival” for the Olympics would be an excellent marketing strategy for the country.

“Those of us recalled that when Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany that they send soca artistes and masqueraders,” he said.

Trinidad and Tobago, whose national team is also known as the Soca Warriors, currently holds the record of being the smallest country to ever qualify for a FIFA World Cup.

“I think we need to do something on a smaller scale in London for 2012 Olympics,” he said.

He said that with the recent success of Kirani James, sports tourism represents an exciting economic frontier for harvesting. “We must therefore support our national sportsmen and women in the different disciplines,” said Gill.

Five Grenadians – four in athletics and one in taekwondo – have already gained qualifying standards for the London 2012 Olympics.

James, who is the current World 400 metres champion and Bartholomew, also a finalist at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Deagu, are among favourites in the Men’s quarter-mile.

Janelle Redhead and her brother Joel are the other two athletes to have earned qualifying times while Andrea St Bernard will be the first ever taekwondo athlete to represent Grenada at the Olympic Games.

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