Remarks by the Right Honourable Hubert A. Ingraham, M.P.,
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
The National Reception for Team Bahamas
Honouring Their Performance
The XXIX Olympic Games in Beijing, Japan
The Imperial Ballroom,
Coral Towers, Atlantis
8:00 P.M.
Saturday, October 18th, 2008

      (1) Cabinet Colleagues and Distinguished Members of Parliament;
      (2) Principles and Executives of Kerzner International;
      (3) Executives of the Bahamas Olympic Association;
      (4) Permanent Secretary and Senior Officers of Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture;
      (5) Senior Administrators of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations;
      (6) Senior Executives of National Federations and Associations;
      (7) Distinguished Members and Coaches of Team Bahamas;
      (8) Technical and Clerical Staff of the Department of Sports;
      (9) Family Members and Patrons of Track and Field throughout the Bahamas;
      (10) Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

On behalf of the Government and the people of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas I am happy to applaud the great accomplishments of outstanding Bahamian men and women at the Olympiad in Beijing. Once again you were ambassadors for our country at the highest level of international athletic competition.

Once again – for the third consecutive time – you have returned from the Olympics with two medals. This year we tied with Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia and Morocco – all countries with populations of more than a million people. We won more medals than Chile, South Africa and Singapore – all countries with far greater resources and considerably larger populations than our own.

You are magnificent.

I long ago recognized that it would be a serious miscalculation to underestimate the will of Bahamians to achieve what some might consider the unachievable.

Ample evidence of this is provided by Bahamian athletes who continue to repeat the incredible achievements that today dot the annals of Bahamian sports.

I wish to acknowledge and thank the parents and the coaches of our Olympians for their long years of dedication to our children and to their sport. Truly you have made it possible for the rich but raw talent of our young people to be honed to astounding levels of perfection.

I thank also the Bahamas Olympic Association for their dedication and commitment to the promotion of the Olympic spirit among our young people.

I thank, in a very special way the corporate sponsors of our Olympians including those who generously sponsored training and trials and those who made possible the televised coverage of the Beijing Games by ZNS Television.

In concluding, ladies and gentlemen, it is now my pleasure to invite the Honourable Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture to assist with the presentation of grant incentives to the following major award winners of the Team Bahamas.

Our Silver Medalists in the Men’s 4 x 400 Metres Relay:

            Michael Mathieu
            Andrae Williams
            Avard Moncur
            Andretti Bain
            Ramon Miller
            Chris Brown

will each receive from the people of The Bahamas, an award of $15,000, for a total sum of $90,000.

Leevan Sands, Bronze Medalist in the Triple Jump will also receive an award of $15,000.

Thank you for your kind attention.