News / Europe

London's Jamaicans Celebrate Olympic Wins

Selah Hennessy
LONDON — Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt says he has become a “legend” after winning the 200-meter race at the London Olympics on Thursday, becoming the first sprinter to win gold in the 100 and the 200 at consecutive Olympics. At London's Brixton area, home to a large Jamaican community, Bolt’s legendary status is well-established.

Jamaicans were in high spirits the day after Usain Bolt won the gold.

Jamaican colors were plastered across flags, hats, and clothes and at the daily street market in Brixton, Bolt’s face smiled out from countless t-shirts and posters.

On Thursday Jamaica won the gold, silver, and bronze medals in the 200-meter dash.

Jonathan, who runs a Brixton music stall, said it was what he expected from his homeland.

“We all knew it was going to be a one, two, and three.  So as far as I’m concerned you can’t beat no Jamaican,” Jonathan said.

Brixton in south London has one of Britain’s largest Jamaican communities.  The expatriates started to arrive around six decades ago and have since become a major cultural force.  Jamaican music, style, and food abound here.

Just last week the community celebrated 50 years since Jamaican independence.  For them, Bolt’s win is the icing on the cake.

“Fifty years (of) independence was on the 6th of August.  And then they won a treble gold, bronze, and silver - it was nice,” said one man.

At a Caribbean restaurant around the corner, Martin Roee was cooking up a Jamaican feast before the lunchtime rush. He said Olympic wins have been a boost for Jamaicans here in London.

“That’s what we are about in Jamaica.  We are a proud people.  Even though we are small but what better way to be seen.  The world is watching and you are smashing all the records.  That’s why I’m so proud to be Jamaican,” Roee said.

Running is something that ties all Jamaicans together, says waitress Tamika.

“As a Jamaican nation, we are all about running, we are all about sprinting.  As a child growing up it’s about running.  And for him to come again and do it - all the un-doubters had to be quiet now because he done it once again,” Tamika said.

And, in doing it, he’s made the 2012 Olympics a memorable Games -- not least of all for his fellow Jamaicans in London.

  • Usain Bolt celebrates winning gold alongside silver medalist Yohan Blake, both of Jamaica, following the men's 100-meter final.
  • Usain Bolt also won the men's 200m final on Thursday.
  • Germany's Robert Harting celebrates winning the men's discus throw final by grabbing a German flag, running a lap of the track over the hurdles, and trying to wrench one of the burning torches from the Olympic cauldron.
  • Ashton Eaton, a 24-year-old from Oregon, wins in the men's decathlon 100m heat. Brazil's Luiz Alberto de Araujo is on the left, and Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine on the right.
  • Dayron Robles (center), of Cuba, pulls up after injuring his leg while competing with Aries Merritt (L) and Jason Richardson of the U.S. during the men's 110m hurdles final.
  • Sarah Attar, the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in Olympic track and field, runs in her women's 800m round 1 heat.
  • China's Liu Xiang falls after hitting a hurdle in his men's 110m hurdles round 1 heat, clutching the same right Achilles tendon that doomed his chances at the Beijing Games in 2008.
  • Australia's Sally Pearson won gold in the women's 100m hurdles final.
  • David Lekuta Rudisha (right), of Kenya, runs ahead of Puerto Rico's Wesley Vazquez. Rudisha shattered his own world record in the fastest ever 800m race.
  • Lolo Jones of the U.S. clears a hurdle with Canada's Phylicia George. Jones is the American record holder in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.72. She came in fourth in the 100m hurdles final in London.
  • Aries Merritt of the U.S. celebrates after winning gold in the men's 110m hurdles final.

  • Meseret Defar of Ethiopia, after she won the women's 5000m final, Friday, August 10, 2012.
  • Jordan Ernest Burroughs of the U.S. (in red) fights with Canada's Matthew Judah Gentry in the Men's 74kg Freestyle wrestling.
  • Montenegro's water polo players watch the final seconds of their team's loss to Croatia.
  • Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli swims on his way to gold during the men's 10-kilometer swimming marathon
  • Spain's team performs in the synchronized swimming free routine final.
  • Israel's Neta Rivkin competes using the ribbon in her individual all-around gymnastics qualification match.
  • Australia's Jesse Phillips, left, and Stephen Bird paddle through the men's kayak double 200m semifinal.
  • Sweden's team players celebrate after defeating Hungary in their men's semi-final match at the Basketball Arena.
  • Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia reacts after winning gold in the men's 10km marathon swimming at Hyde Park.
  • Visitors' shadows cast as they stroll through the ExCel arena in London.
  • Latvia's Maris Strombergs bows after winning the men's BMX event.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs