Top tips for what to do in golden boy Kirani James' Grenada
Grenada is celebrating after Grenadian Kirani James secured the country’s first ever Olympic Gold Medal with his victory in the 400 metres men’s final at The London 2012 Olympic Games. Born in the parish of St John in Grenada, 19-year old Kirani seized the Gold Medal with a time of 43.94 seconds, a new Games record.
Her Excellency Ruth E. Rouse, High Commissioner for Grenada said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Kirani’s commitment and determination are delivering results for him and for Grenada. He and his Grenada Olympic teammates are a credit to themselves and our country. Kirani is inspiring a generation of Grenadians to fulfil their potential.”
Sharon Bernstein, General Manager UK & Ireland, Grenada Board of Tourism said: “For an island the size of the Isle of Wight and with a population of just over 106,000, Grenada punches above its weight in terms of sporting excellence – Kirani is fast becoming a global sports hero and joins others of Grenadian descent including racing driver Lewis Hamilton and UK football star Jason Roberts, who are also at the top of their games. We’re very proud of all The Grenada Olympic Team and their achievements so far at the Olympics. There really must be something special about Grenada that produces such a high proportion of champs per head of population!”
In addition to Kirani's golden triumph, Janelle Redhead's achievements are notable: her third place in the WOmen's 200 metres first round sends her into the semi finals.
Grenadians and other supporters at Grenada Olympic House in London were jubilant at Kirani’s record-setting win, celebrating with Grenadian rum and traditional food in a party atmosphere reminiscent of Carnival, which starts in mid-August. Meanwhile, an island resident said: “The whole nation watched the race live from London – there was not a car to be seen on the roads and the entire island is now celebrating. We’re so proud of Kirani and the Olympic Team for all they’ve achieved in London.”
Must-see things to do in Grenada include:
Snorkel or dive the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park, a series of surreal structures set in a Marine Protected Area
See chocolate go from bean to bar with a new Chocolate Tour at Belmont Estate: grown in a sustainable manner, the organic chocolate is brought to the UK by sail boat and is on sale in Waitrose, Whole Foods and Rococo
Spot the Mona monkeys in Grand Etang National Park
Explore the vibrant rainforest that covers most of the island interior, bursting with bright blooms and rare birds
River tube through the rainforest – a fun way to get wet!
Spend a day on sister-island Carriacou – the quintessential Caribbean island of deserted white sand beaches shaded with palm fronds
Buy fresh spices including nutmeg, mace and ginger at the Spice Market in capital St George’s
Indulge in spa treatments with island-grown ingredients at five-star spas by the sea
Sip a rum cocktail topped with Grenadian nutmeg aboard a sunset yacht cruise – made with rum produced at a water-powered distillery
Learn to cook Grenadian dishes such as callaloo soup and oil down (the national dish) on a white sand beach with Grenadian chefs
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly from London Gatwick to Grenada. Details of hotels and attractions available at Grenadagrenadines.com
Recent events to promote Grenada in the UK include Grenada Heritage Day in Harrow on 14 July, when the Grenadian community came together to celebrate the islands’ culture, food and community; and a reception for the Grenada Olympic Team in Horsham on 15 July. Grenada Olympic House at Arlington Centre, Camden, London is open daily from 4pm-10pm, 4 to 11 August to showcase Grenadian culture alongside Grenada Olympic Team events.