Jamaican Olympic great, Herb McKinley statue to be unveiled in November 2009

KINGSTON, Jamaica – On Monday, April 27 Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding approved the model of the statue that will be erected in honour of Olympic great, Herb McKinley.

Sculpted by noted Jamaican artist Basil Watson, the presentation was made in the presence of Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, who informed the Prime Minister that the sculpture will be installed at Independence Park in November, on the second Anniversary of the death of the sprinter.

Minister Grange acknowledged Mr. Watson’s generosity and commitment in granting the government an irrevocable royalty free license to use and reproduce the material for the purposes of advertisement and promotion, including the right to commercial exploitation of the material which includes the production of photographs and miniatures. The money earned from this activity is earmarked for a special creative industries and cultural enhancement fund to be established by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Mr. Watson said that the title of his sculpture is, “Beyond the Tape”, as he sought to evoke the spirit of giving of the pioneer sprinter. When installed, “Beyond the Tape” will be in context with the other statues at the Park. Mr. Watson noted that in athletic terms Dr Arthur Wint represented “the start”, Don Quarrie “the stride”, Merlene Ottey “celebration at the finish”. Herb McKinley went “beyond the finish line by mentoring and coaching generations of athletes”.

The statue is already being sculpted and will be bronzed in Atlanta, Georgia.

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