The year 2014 brought changes and progress, as well as some sadness and setbacks, to Jamaica and the Caribbean. Governments enacted laws and struggled with a variety of economic and social issues as they attempted to reflect the people’s will. Individuals in the Jamaican and Caribbean Diaspora made significant contributions over the year, both to their home countries and to their adopted lands. The business sector move forward with innovation and support for new endeavors. Artists and entertainers made their mark around the world, providing their unique regional perspectives. Athletes from Jamaica and the Caribbean continued to overcome challenges and push themselves to ever higher levels of performance. In short, 2014 was an eventful and active year. Here are our picks for the Top 10 stories of the year.
TOP JAMAICAN NEWS STORIES OF 2014
JAMAICANS TO RECEIVE HIGHER MINIMUM WAGE
Jamaica raised the minimum wage by 12 percent as the local currency dropped in value and inflation rises. Workers in minimum wage jobs who work for 40 hours a week will see an increase $47 to almost $53. Security guards working at private companies will see an increase from $69 to $77. The increase reflects an exchange rate of 106 Jamaican dollars for a single U.S. dollar.
JAMAICA HEADS COALITION DEMANDING SLAVERY REPARATIONS
Slavery was abolished in Jamaica in 1833, but a coalition of 14 Caribbean countries is calling for reparations from European countries for damages suffered by their people during the slave period. The coalition, led by Jamaica, has a list of ten demands for Britain, Holland, and France that includes an apology, reparation funds, and assurances that slavery will never happen again.
FIRST SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY “CZAR” NAMED
The government named Professor Errol Morrison as the nation’s National Director General of Science and Technology. His chief mission will be to “demystify” science and technology for ordinary Jamaicans with the goal of encouraging and developing polices innovation in these critical fields of endeavor.
PERSONAL POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA TO BE DECRIMINALIZED
The government has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. With this decision, Jamaica becomes one of a growing number of countries around the world that have loosened laws applying to the drug. According to Mark Golding, Jamaican Minister of Justice who made the announcement, an amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act will be formally applied in the summer of 2014.
JAMAICA’S HUMAN DEVELOPMENT RANKING FALLS
The latest United Nations Human Development Index reports that Jamaica’s rank on the Index has fallen by 11 places. The country is now at risk of being demoted into the category of nations with medium human development. While its ranking in 96rh place remains in the “high human development” category, it is only six places away from nations with the lower human development designation.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WANTS TRANSPARENCY IN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Amnesty International, the international watchdog organization, has called on Jamaica’s government to be fully transparent in regard to charges of human rights violations by the Jamaican Constabulary Force. The organization also wants more transparency regarding the reasons Owen Ellington, former police commissioner, suddenly left his job. Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s National Security Minister, refused to provide answers to questions about Ellington, and Amnesty believes this represents a threat to the country’s global obligations on justice, truth, and reparations for human rights violations.
WILLIAMS SELECTED TO HEAD POLICE FORCE
Dr. Carl Williams is set to take the leadership role of Commissioner of Police and will inherit a Jamaica Constabulary Force (JDF) that has seen a significant decrease in the number of murders in Jamaica during the past year. Williams will be the 28th Commissioner in the JDF’s 149-year history. His experience includes heading Police Area 5, which includes Spanish Town, March Pen, and Lauriston, among other places.
JAMAICA MAKES PREPARATIONS FOR EBOLA
Authorities in Jamaica are increasing efforts toward preventing Ebola and enhancing effective management of the virus if it spreads to the island, said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. The Prime Minister also stated that Jamaica’s Ministry of Health is acting as the lead agency for contingency planning and the nation’s emergency response to the disease.
MARLEY NATURAL: THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL MARIJUANA BRAND
Reggae legend Bob Marley will become the face of the first international marijuana brand in the world. His family has joined with a private equity firm to introduce Marley Natural, which will involve “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains” that are inspired by the types enjoyed by Marley. According to Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s daughter, her father would be happy to see people learn more about the healing power of the herb, which he viewed as a spiritual item that enhanced creativity and allowed humans to connect to nature.
SIGNIFICANTLY FEWER KILLINGS BY POLICE IN 2014
In 2014, the number of Jamaicans killed by police is expected to total just over 100 individuals, a significant reduction from the 258 citizens killed by authorities in 2013. Human rights activists have praised Jamaica’s efforts at reducing civilian deaths at the hands of police. The yearly total of killings by police has not numbered below 200 since 2004.
TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS STORIES OF 2014
LONDON FASHION SHOWCASE FEATURES FIVE JAMAICAN DESIGNERS
Five fashion designers from Jamaica had their work shown at the 2014 International Fashion Showcase in London. The showcase presented the works of emerging designers Dexter Huxtable, Spokes Apparel; Claire Requa, Clairely Upcycled Jewellery; Ayanna Dixon, ASD Clothing; Simone Nielson, Ms. Sim; and Abenah Gonzalez, Abenah Adelaide Designs. The collection was introduced on February 12, 2014, at an event hosted by the High Commission of Jamaica.
JAMAICAN WOMAN DIED WHILE IN U.S. IMMIGRATION CUSTODY
Marjorie Annmarie Bell, 48, of Jamaica died in a Chula Vista hospital near San Diego, California. Bell was in the custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency at the time. She was taken to the hospital after complaining of chest pain, body aches and nausea. Bell had tried to enter the U.S. at San Ysidro where she was alleged to have presented a fake Canadian passport. She was then transferred to ICE custody pending immigration proceedings.
JAMAICAN STUDENTS IN UKRAINE SAFE
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade reported that four Jamaican students enrolled at a medical university in Ukraine were safe. The university is located in Kharkiv, a city in the northeastern part of the country. The Jamaican embassy in Berlin successfully kept contact with Ukraine and a student representative there during the political unrest that broke out in that country. While there was concern about the political situation, the students continued to attend classes, and there was a “semblance of normality.”
SHORTAGE OF PATOIS INTERPRETERS HAMPERS CANADIAN ACTIVITY
An association of language interpreters in Ontario, Canada, noted a shortage of professionals who can interpret Jamaican Patois. According to Anton Brown, a local attorney and expert on immigration, the situation was critical, especially in regard to the criminal justice system there. Ontario has the highest percentage of Jamaicans in Canada, and the lack of qualified Patois interpreters left many Jamaicans facing charges in legal limbo.
JAMAICAN AMERICAN BECAME AIDE TO U.S. PRESIDENT
Michael Alexander Blake, whose mother is from St. Ann, overcame adversity and poverty during his life and became an aide to Barack Obama, the President of the United States. Blake noted the struggles his mother had trying to obtain his schooling after she migrated to the U.S. At one point, he said, she slept on church pews because they had no home. Blake’s father, now deceased, was from Papine in St. Andrew.
JAMAICAN COULD BE FIRST WOMAN BISHOP OF CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Rose Hudson-Wilkin, born and raised in Montego Bay, was under consideration to become one of the first women to become bishops in the Church of England. The Anglican Church had decided to allow female bishops after years of debate beginning in the 1920s. Hudson-Wilkin is now a chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II and the Speaker of the House of Commons. She has a prominent role in the Church of England and is a strong advocate of a woman’s right to take part at the highest levels of the church hierarchy.
GOVERNMENT WANTS STRONGER RELATIONSHIP WITH DIASPORA
Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, assured Jamaicans in the United Kingdom of her government’s commitment to stronger ties with the Diaspora as part of the process of nation building. According to Simpson, Jamaica’s government looks forward to its continued partnership and strong connections with the UK’s Jamaican community.
GOLDING ELECTED TO DIASPORA ADVISORY BOARD
Wayne Golding, an attorney from Orlando, Florida, was elected to serve as a member of the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board for the Southern United States. He received a majority of votes, 936, in a total of 1, 237 votes from the Jamaican Diaspora in 13 southern states to secure the position.
DIASPORA DISRESPECTED BY REJECTION OF FBI OFFICER AS HEAD OF POLICE
Members of the Jamaican Diaspora in the United States were angry about the rejection by the Police Service Commission (PSC) of Wilfred S. Rattigan’s to be head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). Despite being born in Jamaica and serving as an agent with the U.S. Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI), the PSC omitted his name from its short-list of candidates. Diaspora members expressed their dismay concerning the Commission’s decision, which was reached without giving Rattigan any reason for the rejection.
CARIBE TV BRINGS CARIBBEAN CULTURE TO UNITED KINGDOM
A new television station was launched to bring programming directly to the United Kingdom from the Caribbean. CaribBe TV began operation at the end of September 2014 and provided a multi-media platform offering a variety of television channels from the islands. The station broadcasts news, sports, current affairs, special events, family and lifestyle programming, cooking, educational, fashion, and cultural programs.
JAMAICAN DOCTOR GIVES AID TO EBOLA PATIENTS IN LIBERIA
Dr. Coril Curtis-Warmington, a Jamaican doctor, asked her colleagues from Jamaica to join her in helping to treat the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia. She noted that medical professionals would receive hands-on experience with treating the virus. She made her plea via Skype from Liberia to the 10th annual symposium and meeting of the Caribbean Association of Clinical Microbiologists, which was held at the University Hospital of the West Indies. Curtis-Warmington urged doctors to come for just two weeks to help alleviate Liberia’s needs.
DIASPORA ELECTIONS CREATE CONTROVERSY
The election of a new representative for the North East United States to the Jamaica Diaspora Board erupted into controversy. Joan Pinnock, one of the candidates, said she received the endorsement of Arnaldo Brown, state minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. According to Diaspora leaders, however, Brown denied making any endorsement of any of the three candidates for the board position. Pinnock ultimately withdrew her comment, saying that she had made a mistake.
ISRAEL WELCOMED NEW JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR
Four new ambassadors were welcomed to Israel, including one from Jamaica. The new ambassador Margaret Ann Louise Jobson presented her credentials to the Israeli president Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem at an official ceremony. Jobson noted Jamaica’s special bonds with Israel, referring to the fact that some of Jamaica’s earliest settlers were Jews.
TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS STORIES OF 2014
CLIMATE CHANGE HAD MAJOR IMPACT ON CARIBBEAN
Unexpected weather in the Caribbean had a strong impact on the region. Jos Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of America States, noted the “unseasonable” nature of the rains and believes the flooding indicates how climate change is working in the Caribbean.
FIRST SPORTS TOURISM CONFERENCE HELD IN MARTINIQUE
The Caribbean region’s first conference on sports tourism was held at the end of January in Martinique. The Caribbean Sport Tourism Conference lasted two days and included workshops, discussions, and presentations to provide clear picture of the growing trend toward sports tourism in the region. The conference was organized by CSport Magazine.
TWO CARIBBEAN NATIONS COMPETE AT SOCHI OLYMPICS
Jamaica’s bobsled team competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and was joined by Dominica, which had a ski team as its representatives. The Dominica Olympic Committee (DOC) announced the participation of Gary di Silvestri and his wife Angelica Morrone di Silvestre who qualified late in the season in Montana. They were the first husband-and-wife duo to compete in the same event at the Olympics.
GUYANA INVESTIGATES 1980 ASSASSINATION
Guyana called for a thorough investigation into the death of Walter Rodney, which occurred in 1980. Rodney was a local historian and black activist involved in the Black Power movement in the Caribbean and in the United States. A political party founded by Rodney in the 1970s, the Working People’s Alliance, hoped that a panel of three attorneys from the Caribbean would be able to identify those responsible for Rodney’s death.
6.5 EARTHQUAKE STRIKES NEAR BARBADOS
An area off the coast of Barbados was hit by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on February 18, according to the United States Geological Survey. A tsunami warning was issued for the local, but not regional, area. No reports of such an incident were received, however, and there were no reports of extensive damage or injuries attributed to the quake.
CONSERVATIONISTS CAMPAIGN TO SAVE SHARKS
In Trinidad and Tobago, conservationists targeted fishing for shark in the region. Shark sandwiches have long been considered an essential part of island cuisine, but the local Papa Bois Conservation organization urged a ban on catching sharks in order to protect the population of the marine predators, which is decreasing rapidly.
FLORIDA ALLOWED IN-STATE TUITION FOR UNDOCUMENTED CARIBBEAN STUDENTS
Florida decided to allow undocumented students, including those from the Caribbean, to pay in-state tuition at all public colleges and universities in the state. The decision ended a battle that lasted over ten years. Florida became the 21st state to offer in-state rates to undocumented students at the college and university level. However, only those who attended high school in Florida for at least three years can qualify for the in-state tuition.
CARIBBEAN WELCOMES RENEWED RELATIONS BETWEEN CUBA, U.S.
The leaders of Caribbean nations welcomed the historic actions taken by the United States and Cuba to normalize relations after many years of a trade embargo. Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of St. Lucia, said the announcement of the new U.S.-Cuba policy represented a “dramatic development” that will benefit the Caribbean region in terms of economic conditions.
BROOKLYN WOMAN INDICTED FOR DEFRAUDING CARIBBEAN IMMIGRANTS
Nickya Wittington, 27, of Brooklyn, New York, was charged with stealing US$12,850 from undocumented Caribbean immigrants. Wittington, also known as Nicky John, promised to provide green cards and work permits to the immigrants. Ken Thompson, district attorney for Brooklyn, said Wittington is guilty of preying on some of the most vulnerable people in society, victimizing immigrants who were trying to comply with the law.
IRAN USING DUAL CITIZENSHIP IN CARIBBEAN TO AVOID SANCTIONS
St. Kitts and Nevis is an attractive destination for businessmen from Iran who are looking to exploit the citizenship-for-investment programs offered in the Caribbean to avoid international sanctions imposed on account of Iran’s nuclear program. St. Kitts’ program remained the most lax of all such programs in the Caribbean. It requires no residency and provides passports within three months for $250,000 or a qualifying real estate investment.
TOP JAMAICAN BUSINESS NEWS STORIES OF 2014
KINGSTON MEDICAL FIRM ACCEPTS BITCOINS
A medical imaging company decided to accept the virtual, unregulated currency, bitcoin, as payment. Kingston Open MRI began accepting bitcoins at the end of 2013 to provide a cost-effective way for paying for services and to make additional payment options available to patients. The method is particularly good for patients using foreign remittances to pay for health care, since there are no fees associated with wire transfers.
HONG KONG COMPANY RECEIVES LICENSE FOR NATURAL GAS PROJECT
Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell announced that a Hong Kong company was awarded a license to build a new power project on the island. Energy World international will supply 381 megawatts of natural gas-fired generating capacity for the power grid in Jamaica. Paulwell said the project represented a “game changer” in lowering the island’s dependence on petroleum and diesel fuel imports.
BLUE AND JOHN CROW MOUNTAINS RECEIVE WORLD HERITAGE STATUS
UNESCO recognized Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountains in its World Heritage designations, which is expected to enhance tourism industry and community businesses in the regions. Including these sites on the World Heritage List represented a major enhancement for Jamaica in terms of tourist arrivals and local business opportunities, according to Joe Issa, chairman of Cool Corporation.
JPS AGREED TO BUY US$8.1 MILLION IN WIND-SOLAR TURBINES
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) contracted with Windstream Technologies, a renewable energy firm based in the United States, to buy US$8.1 million in wind-solar turbines. The plan represents an attempt to build upon the US$14 million in orders from the Jamaican company during the first quarter of 2014.
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT OFFERED $1 BILLION IN SMALL BUSINESS LOANS
The government of Jamaica planned to provide $1 billion in loans to micro, small, and midsized enterprises (MSME) on the island. Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, said that the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report for 2013 indicated that this sector is especially important for the country’s economic progress.
LIME, DIGICEL BLOCKED UNLICENSED VOIP SERVICES
Digicel Jamaica blocked unlicensed VoIP services like Viber in the market sector. LIME also made a similar block against Viber. Digicel told its customers that unlicensed VoIP operators use telecom networks to deliver services, but do not pay the required fees to do so.
ALMOST 200 TECHNOLOGY CENTERS CREATED
The government was instrumental in creating 182 information technology (IT) skills training and resource centers across the island. This indicated the government’s commitment to providing Jamaicans with appropriate access to IT. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller stated that another 49 IT training facilities would be constructed, as well as another 150 centers awaiting approval.
LOWE STARTS FIRST MEDICAL MARIJUANA FIRM
Dr. Henry Lowe and his partners started the first medical marijuana company on the island. They plan to create a global brand of “Medicanja” and are waiting for approval from regulators for their start-up. Medicanja Jamaica Limited plans to provide products made with medicinal cannabis by Bio-Tech R&D Institute, the parent company. Lowe is the executive chairman and chief scientist for both the manufacturing and clinical trials firm and the medical ganja business.
AUTHORITY CRACKS DOWN ON FAKE BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE
The Coffee Industry Board planned to crack down on sales of fake Blue Mountain coffee, especially in the resort areas. The Brand Infringement and Enforcement Taskforce began monitoring and protecting the globally famous coffee brand. Raids conducted in connection with the infringement occurred before Christmas at local supermarkets, gift shops, and craft markets.
JAMAICA BEST CARIBBEAN NATION FOR BUSINESS, SAYS FORBES MAGAZINE
Jamaica received the honor of being named the best nation in the Caribbean region for doing business by the Forbes Best Countries for Business Report of 2014. Jamaica ranked 64th out of 146 countries. Forbes evaluated countries on factors that included innovation, taxation, technology, corruption, investor protection, and stock market performance.
TOP JAMAICAN ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS STORIES OF 2014
NEW CURATOR NAMES FOR NATIONAL GALLERY OF JAMAICA
The National Gallery of Jamaica got a new head curator. Charles Campbell, artist, educator, environmental activist, and arts writer, was appointed to fill the role. Campbell, who was born in Kingston but moved to Canada as a child, sees great potential for growth and development in Jamaican art. He hopes to use his considerable experience to facilitate the growth of art on the island.
FIRST MUSIC SYMPOSIUM HOSTED BY INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA
The Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) and the Jamaica Music Museum (JaMM) prepared to hold the first music symposium to address the potential for cultural industries on the island, particularly in music, to make measurable contributions to the island’s economy. The symposium received funding from CHASE. Its theme was “The Business of the Jamaican Music and Cultural Industries.”
MERVYN MORRIS NAMED JAMAICA’S POET LAUREATE
Jamaica chose a poet laureate for the first time in more than 50 years. Mervyn Morris, professor emeritus of Creative Writing and West Indian Literature at the University of the West Indies, was the recipient of the title. He is the author of six books of poetry, as well as other academic works. He was born in Kingston, studied at Munro College, the University College of the West Indies, and was a Rhodes Scholar at St. Edmund Hall at Oxford in the UK. He was awarded the Order of Merit in 2009.
JAMAICAN FILM COMPETES FOR AFRICAN MOVIE ACADEMY AWARD
The African Movie Academy Awards program will make its announcements on May 24, 2014. It launched at the Cannes Film Market on May 19. The celebration of African culture and heritage is celebrating its tenth anniversary as well. “Kingston Paradise,” described as an offbeat, urban thriller, will be shown at the event to potential international distributors and buyers.
CHRONIXX AND TESSANNE NOMINATED FOR IRAWMA AWARDS
Jamaican singers Chronixx and Tessanne Chin received nominations for the International Reggae and World Music Award (IRAWMA). The awards were presented in Florida at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts. Chronixx was nominated for four IRAWMA awards, including the Bob Marley Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. Tessanne was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.
GLOBAL PRAISE FOR NOVEL ABOUT MARLEY ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT
Marlon James, a Jamaican author, wrote a book that gained the praise of top reviewers around the world. His novel “A Brief History of Seven Killings” was reviewed in the New York Times, which called it “epic,” “mythic.” and “colossal.” The novel is based on an assassination attempt of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley in 1976. It uses this incident to discuss the issues of race and class in Jamaica.
REGGAE LEGEND JOHN HOLT DEAD AT 67
John Holt, a legend in reggae music, died at the age of 67. Holt became popular as a member of the group The Paragons. A Kingston native, he was active in the music industry for 50 years. Howard “Flagga” Duperly, an expert in reggae, said that Holt will be remembered as being in the same class as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh for his rare voice and effortless delivery.
HALL OF FAME AWARDS DOMINATED BY JAMAICANS
Jamaicans dominated the annual Caribbean Hall of Fame Awards for Excellence in 2014. The awards ceremony was hosted by the Caribbean Development for the Arts, Sports and Culture Foundation to honor individuals in the Caribbean who have reached the highest levels in their fields. Honored with the awards were Rita Marley, Beers Hammond, Beanie Man, Gem Myers, Etna, Taros Riley, Queen Africa, Amine Blackwood-Meeks, Paul Campbell, Bill Edwards, Patsy Ricketts, Lonnie Little-White, Barbara Blake-Hannah and Kamahi Condi son, Grace Jackson, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn and Andrew Price. John Holt, who recently passed, was received recognition posthumously.
ANANSE FESTIVAL ATTRACTED INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS
The third annual Ananse SoundSplash Storytelling Festival and Conference was staged from November 19 through 24, 2014. The 2014 festival was organized around eight “legs” like a spider and included events occurring around the island. Governor General Sir Patrick Allen announced that November 20 will be National Storytelling Day to honor the role Jamaica’s oral traditions have in preserving Jamaican culture.
FOUR JAMAICANS VIE FOR REGGAE ALBUM AWARD
Four Jamaicans were in competition for the 2015 Grammy award for best reggae album. They included Ziggy Marley, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Sean Paul and Sly & Robbie, and Spicy Chocolate. The nominations illustrated the dominance of Jamaica in the reggae space, which was invented on the island during the 1960s.
TOP JAMAICAN SPORTS NEWS STORIES OF 2014
BOBSLED TEAM MOST POPULAR TEAM AT SOCHI
While they had some problems getting to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the Jamaican bobsled team overcame them and became the “most popular” team at the games. The team was among the top contenders for a medal, but ultimately fell short.
IAAF WORLD RELAYS RECORD SET BY JAMAICANS
Jamaica’s male runners achieved a new world record in the 4×200-meter competition during the opening night of the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, the Bahamas. Yohan Blake, winner of an Olympic silver in the 100-meter and 200-meter races in London in 2012, led the team that finished in one minute, 18.62 seconds. Nickel Ashmeade, Warren Weir and Jermaine Brown joined Blake to make up the team.
PARCHMENT ESTABLISHES RECORD IN HURDLES
Hansle Parchment set a new Jamaican national record in the 110-meter hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Paris, France. Parchment achieved a personal best of 12.94 seconds to become the first Jamaican male hurdler to break the 13-second barrier. Parchment won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.
WOMEN WIN CARIBBEAN BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Jamaica’s women’s basketball team defeated the Dominican Republic 51-45 at the Caribbean championships in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Shanneika Smith, guard, achieved 14 points, while Sasha Dixon, shooting guard, also scored 14 points, and Jennifer George, power forward, got 13 points. A $1 million donation by Olympic champion Usain Bolt allowed the team to raise the money necessary to participate in the tournament.
ALIA BROKE 50-METER BREASTSTROKE RECORD IN GLASGOW
Alia Atkinson of Jamaica broke the record at the Commonwealth Games for the 50-meter breaststroke for a second time. Atkinson, 25, broke the record the first time to win her race in 30.49 seconds. She returned to swim the distance in 30.17 seconds in the semi-final 2.
BOLT SET NEW INDOOR SPRINT RECORD
Champion sprinter Usain Bolt has set a new 100-meter indoor record at National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland. Bolt ran the distance in 9.98 seconds, beating the previous record of 10.05 set by Frankie Fredericks of Namibia in 1996.
SPENCER GETS IAAF WORLD ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINATION
Kaliese Spencer, Jamaican hurdler, was the only athlete from Jamaica names among the ten men and ten women nominated for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award for 2014.
JAMAICA WON SIXTH CARIBBEAN CUP TITLE
Jamaica won the Caribbean Cup title for the sixth consecutive year with a 4 to 3 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in a penalty shootout. The win meant that the Reggae Boyz were guaranteed a place in the Copa America Centenario 2016 and the 2015 Gold Cup.
REGGAE BOYZ FIRST CARIBBEANS INVITED TO COPA AMERICA
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz were the first team from the Caribbean to receive an invitation to the Copa America tournament, the oldest continental competition in football. The tournament has been held for 98 years. The Boyz’s opponents included Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay in Group B.
BROWN ACHIEVED WORLD RANK IN GOLF
Wesley Brown, golfing sensation from Jamaica, was officially listed in the International Golf Rankings at number 1548. Brown was excited at being ranked. He recently won his last two tournaments in Jamaica. He planned to move up in the rankings and believed that by 2015 he will have achieved an even higher place on the list. He praised his sponsor, Sandals Resorts International, for the support that allowed him to participate in the international tournament.