Thursday, July 30, 2020

NAME OF FEATURE | THE GLEANER | THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2020 3 THE BEST OF ‘EMANCIPENDENCE’ – CULTURE, CUISINE, PEOPLE Mickella Anderson/ Features Writer J AMAICA IS, perhaps, most known for its idyllic landscape and out- standing tourism destinations, but while some visitors come for the sea, sun and sand, others of global significance and power have visited the island to establish stronger diplo- matic ties and all things in between. From Princess Margaret’s 1962 visit to the visit of US President Barack Obama in 2015, here are six world leaders who stepped on our home soil: 1962 – PRINCESS MARGARET AS THE country marked its Independence from Britain in 1962, Princess Margaret graciously hon- oured the country’s request to rep- resent Her Majesty The Queen at the celebrations. It was not her first visit. In 1955, the princess performed a number of community initiatives, including the opening of the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas. 1965 – MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR On Sunday, June 20, 1965, American civil rights leader, the Rev Dr Maryin Luther King, Jr and his wife Coretta landed on post-Independ- ence Jamaican soil. During his trip, the world-renowned activist deliv- ered the valedictory speech, titled ‘Facing the Challenge of a New Age’, at The University of the West Indies’ graduation ceremony. King’s speech implored the graduates and the large audience to practise brotherly love in spite of injustices. 1966 – EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE I An estimated 100,000 fascinated Rastafarians greeted the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I when he visited the island on April 21,1966. With the sounds of drums and the abeng horns resonating, the moment remains a historic one for the nation, as well as the history of Rastafarians. 1991 – NELSON MANDELA The late South African President Nelson Mandela joined the list of world leaders who visited Jamaica in 1991. He was conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from The University of theWest Indies dur- ing his visit, which took place in the month of July. 1994 – QUEEN ELIZABETH Though she has visited Jamaica several times, it all began in 1953. It was the first time a sovereign ruler visited the island, and the first inves- titure outside of Britain was held in the knighting of Queen’s Counsel Kennedy O’Connor at King’s House. 2015 – BARACK OBAMA It had felt like a modern-day reen- actment of a piece of history when the first black president of the United States of America visited our little is- land of Jamaica. The charming Barack Obama was instantly well received by locals with his famous ‘Wah gwaan, Jamaica’greeting at a town hall meet- ing hosted by The University of the West Indies, Mona. Since much of his visit was well publicised, this particu- lar visit will forever be inked in the minds of many Jamaicans. They visited JAMAICA Six world leaders who stepped on home soil ALL HAIL the sportsman! If there was ever a set of people to further uplift our nation on the global stage, it would be our athletes. These men and women have taken their extraordinary talents to the next level and have offered same in service to their country. As we celebrate 58 years of Independence, it is fair to say that our athletes deserve a salute, 58 times over! Let’s take a walk down memory lane and relive five of the many great moments in our country’s sporting history since 1962: 1998 – JAMAICA REACHES WORLD CUP FOOTBALL FINALS IF YOU were around on November 16, 1997, chances are you remember the uncontainable ex- citement felt throughout the country when Jamaica became the first English-speaking Caribbean coun- try to qualify for the finals of the World Cup. By 1998, the‘Reggae Boyz’made their debut in France, donned in black, green and gold. It was the only time the country has advanced to that level, but hopefully, not the last! 2005 – ASAFA POWELL BECOMES WORLD’S FASTEST MAN Of our nation’s great athletes since Independence, Asafa Powell must be mentioned. Hailed as the‘sub- 10 king’, Powell gave a dazzling run in the 100m final of the 2005 Olympic games in Athens, Greece. It was a world-record time of 9.77 seconds. He later ran 9.74 seconds at the IAAF Grand Prix in Reit, Italy, in 2008, smashing his own record. 2008 – SHELLY-ANN FRASER-PRYCE CREATES HISTORY Back then she was known only as Shelly-Ann Fraser and, rightfully so, her 2008 run had left us breathless! The now-married Fraser-Pryce became the first Caribbean woman to win 100m gold at the Olympics when she appeared at Beijing in 2008. The sprint queen later defended her title in 2012 and medalled in 2016, becoming the first woman in history to win medals in the 100m event in three consecutive Olympic Games. 2008 – THE BEGINNING OF THE BOLT REIGN Which other human can break his record over 100 metres in the same year in which it was set? Who else doubles up appearances and still sets a world record over 100 and 200metres at the same Olympic aGmes? Sir Bolt! Jamaica’s sprint legend, Usain St Leo Bolt, has added something special to these 58 years of Independence, as the personality the world knows him to be is matched only by his amazing talent! To the present day, Bolt is the only athlete to win Olympic 100mand 200m titles at three Olympic Games, consecutively – 2008, 2012 and 2016. 2015 – CHRIS GAYLE MAKES HISTORY Since 1998, one Chris Gayle has been continuing the country’s reputation of producing fine cricketers, with a decorated career in the sport. In 2015, Gayle became the first cricketer in Cricket World Cup his- tory to score a double century, hitting 200 off 138 balls against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup! – M.A. Hail our athletes: 58 times over Reggae Boyz Usain Bolt Princess Margaret Barack Obama Chris Gayle

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