1952 Olympian Bryon LaBeach to Receive “Brand Jamaica Living Legend Award”

Bryon LaBeach – 1952 Olympian
Bryon LaBeach to Receive Award in New York to mark Jamaica’s Independence Anniversary

by Derrick Scott

NEW YORK – A member of Jamaica’s relay team at 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games will be honored with a ‘Brand Jamaica Living Legend Award’ as Jamaicans in New York celebrated their island’s 57th anniversary of independence.

Byron LaBeach will be given the honor on Saturday, August 10, at the Jamaican Independence Black Tie Gala, slated for the Hilton Hotel in Rye, New York.

Emmy and Golden Globe nominated American/Jamaican actress Kerry Washington will also be honored at the event.

LaBeach was an alternate member of the Helsinki ‘golden’ quartet that included Olympians Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, George Rhoden and Leslie Laing that struck gold in the men’s 4x400m final – a historic victory in the event for Jamaica.

He was also a semi-finalist in the 100 meters at the said Olympic Games in Finland, and would go on to win gold medals for Jamaica at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico City in 1954 with the 4×100 metre and 4×400 metre relay teams.

An alum of St. George’s College in Kingston, the celebrated Olympian was an outstanding varsity athlete at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland from 1950 to 1954, following in the footsteps of his famous Olympian brothers, Lloyd and Sam LaBeach.

At the 1953 Central American Games, Byron won a silver medal in the 100 meters and a bronze medal in the 200 meters.

LaBeach, who resides in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area, was the recipient of an Olympic Pin from president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, at a service in Kingston that was attended by family, friends and other Olympians.

Chairman of the Jamaica Independence Gala Society Mr. Sephron Mair

‘We salute Byron LaBeach, a living Jamaican legend,” said event Chairman/Producer Sephron Mair. “We are extremely proud of your accomplishments and thank you for all you have done for brand Jamaica and for athletics.”

Mair announced that Olympian Devon ‘Oly’ Harris, a founding member of the Jamaica national bobsled team, will present the award to LaBeach.

Harris competed in the 1988, 1992 and 1998 Winter Olympics. During the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, he was inducted as an ‘Olympian For Life’ by the World Olympians Association, in recognition of his contribution to society.

The Black Tie Gala – the marquee Jamaica Independence celebration in New York – is being held under the distinguish patronage of the Minister of Tourism, the Hon Edmund Bartlett.

Also to attend and act as ‘Brand Ambassador’ will be the Hon. Lisa Hanna, MP, and 1993 Miss World winner.

United States Federal Judge Norman Hemming will deliver the Keynote Address to the guests, expected to number more than 1,000, to celebrate the event being held under the theme “Celebrating Brand Jamaica.”

Part of the proceeds from the Gala will be donated to Food for the Poor, Jamaica, the largest charity organization in Jamaica, and Food For The Poor Inc., located in South Florida, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States.


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