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Carnival for Jamaica fans at Games

06 June 2011 10:28

Visitors to the carnival could catch a glimpse of Jamaica's top athlete Usain Bolt

Visitors to the carnival could catch a glimpse of Jamaica's top athlete Usain Bolt

Thousands of people are expected to visit a nine-day Jamaica-themed carnival during the London Olympics next year for fun, food, entertainment, and the chance to meet sporting stars such as Usain Bolt.

Finsbury Park hopes to turn into a hotspot for fans of Jamaican athletes who are expected to arrive in London, with their sports travel insurance cover in place, hoping to return with an armful of medals.

Organisers of the Jamaica Village said they expect to see world 100m and 200m record-holder Bolt as well as other sporting greats such as Lennox Lewis make an appearance at the event.

Fans will be able to savour the island's cuisine, dance and watch action from the Olympic Games on the big screen during the nine days from August 3 to August 12 next year.

Ziggi Golding, director of Festival Jamaica 2012, one of the event's partners, said: "In Beijing 2008, despite how well the athletes did, Jamaica didn't really have a presence at the games and so didn't have a profile. Hopefully this event will redress that fact.

"There will be a lot of great entertainment, encompassing music, food, drink, theatre and the arts. We want to represent all elements of Jamaican culture, including some bits people don't know about."

He added: "We are expecting 50,000 people a day - it's going to be big."

Although Haringey Council, which has responsibility for the park, has so far not received a licensing application from the organisers, the festival is almost certain to go ahead.