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Olympic Success Buoys Five Decades of Jamaica's Independence

  • VOA News

Pauline Brown waves her country's flag at the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence celebration in Miramar, Fla. Aug. 6, 2012.
Jamaicans donned their national colors Monday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their country's independence from Britain.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller joined thousands of spectators at the National Stadium in the capital, Kingston, for a lavish ceremony marking the historic day, along with foreign dignitaries such as South African President Jacob Zuma and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The celebration for the Caribbean island of three-million people got a boost from the London Olympic victories of Usain Bolt in the men's 100-meter dash on Sunday, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the women's 100-meters the day before.
Athletes such as Bolt and Fraser-Pryce are held in the same esteem among Jamaicans as legendary reggae musicians such as the late Bob Marley. But the popular tourist destination has also been beset by political instability and economic stagnation.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.