Further national honour for Olympian Deon Hemmings McCatty

Further national honour for Olympian Deon Hemmings McCatty

Sunday, October 18, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Twenty-four years ago, Deon Hemmings McCatty, etched her name in the annals of track and field history when she became the first Jamaican and Caribbean woman to cop an Olympic Gold Medal, after winning the 400 metres women's hurdles final at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

For this and other outstanding feats on the track as well as her overall contribution to the sport's development, Hemmings McCatty will, on National Heroes Day, tomorrow be conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD), during the National Honours and Awards ceremony.

The Olympian, who expressed gratitude for the recognition, said she was “a bit surprised” after hearing on Independence Day, August 6 that she was included on this year's list of honourees.

Hemming McCatty's surprise stemmed from the fact that she was previously recognised by the Government with the National Award of Order of Distinction, Officer Class (OD).

“I'm really thankful and happy that they have selected me as an honouree and [that this recognition is] being upgraded from OD to CD. I'm very thankful for this honour and I'll cherish it,” she said.

This year's staging of the National Honours and Awards ceremony will take place virtually.

The made-for-television event will be aired on national television and social media platforms beginning at 8:15 am, with a floral tribute at National Heroes Park.

The ceremony will be broadcast on CVM Television, Television Jamaica and the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica.

It can also be viewed on the Jamaica Information Service website at www.jis.gov.jm and on the agency's Facebook page.

The produced package will feature a congratulatory message by Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen, and the presentation of awards will be interspersed with performances by well-known Jamaican artistes.

Professor Orlando Patterson, who heads this year's list of honourees, will deliver remarks on behalf of the awardees.

He will receive the Order of Merit (OM) for distinguished contribution internationally to Academia, West Indian Literature, Sociology, and the Epistemology of Social Culture.

A total of 126 people, excluding uniformed groups, will be recognised this year.


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