Bolt off the mark as Birmingham hosts Jamaica's 2012 Olympic team

Birmingham has secured the Jamaican Track and Field Olympic team training camp for the 2012 London Olympics after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Berlin on the 14th August; Usain Bolt and Jamaica to use Birmingham as pre-2012 Olympics base, Birmingham to Host Jamaica's 2012 Olympic Team Training Camp.

Birmingham will play host to the Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt after Council leader Mike Whitby spent two days in Berlin meeting giants of international athletics before the World Athletics Championships. After only two days the Memorandum was signed between the President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) Howard Aris and Councillor Mike Whitby.

"I am happy that we have made this move. The stakeholders from Birmingham had visited me in Jamaica and introduced me to the facilities, and I was impressed. I am particularly excited because 2012 will be Jamaica's Golden Anniversary (of Independence) and I am already in discussions with the Birmingham City Council to see how we will make the occasion special in the city. In addition, a very strong sporting and cultural legacy will result from this, and I believe it is very good news for Jamaican athletics," Ms. Grange said.

Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister said "Birmingham is a city that has always been close to Jamaica. There are many Jamaicans living in Birmingham and they have sold Jamaica well. We will be working closely with the leaders in Birmingham to build our base there and to improve tourist arrivals from that city. I expect to meet with them soon to explore the possibilities"

The move comes on top of ongoing efforts to secure the USA Track and Field Olympic team to Birmingham with the recently appointed USA Track and Field chief executive, Doug Logan, restating the American team's intention to base their team in Birmingham ahead of the 2012 games.

“For Doug Logan to stress USA Track and Field’s commitment to basing themselves in Birmingham was a ringing endorsement and can only enhance our efforts to attract more countries.
“The Americans have clearly recognised that Birmingham is the place to be ahead of the British Olympics and that sends out a signal to a host of other interested countries.”


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