Grange hails Germaine Mason as ‘an outstanding Jamaican product’
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange this afternoon expressed sadness at the loss of “an outstanding Jamaican product” with the death of retired Olympic athlete Germaine Mason.
The 34-year-old former high jumper was heading home from a party about 4:20 am today when he apparently lost control of his motorcycle, which ran off the road in East Kingston. The police said he was pronounced dead at hospital.
Grange said on hearing the tragic news, she reached out to former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell as she felt she was at least able to “express directly to an outstanding athlete how I felt about Germaine’s passing and it made a difference to me”.
She noted that Powell too was extremely sad about the Mason’s sudden death.
Mason, a former student of the Wolmer’s High School for Boys is still the national record holder in the high jump event. He was a part of the MVP track Club before switching allegiance to represent Great Britain in 2006.
He matched his personal best of 2.34m to claim silver at Beijing, one of a then-record 47 British Olympic medals taken in China.
“Despite him joining the British team a few years ago, I still consider him to be one of our own. Germaine was made here. He’s a product, an outstanding product of Jamaica. A product of our sports system. And we have always given him our love and support,” Grange said in her statement.
The minister’s response to the death comes on the heels of many from the local and international athletics community, which was stunned by the news of Mason’s passing
Read more: Germaine Mason's death stuns athletics world
Grange’s statement in full:
We got up to really sad news: the passing of Germaine Mason, one of our own.
Despite him joining the British team a few years ago, I still consider him to be one of our own.
Germaine was made here. He’s a product, an outstanding product of Jamaica. A product of our sports system. And we have always given him our love and support.
Germaine was our champion and national high jump record holder. Today, we have lost a member of our sports family. And there are no words to adequately express the sadness, the pain, the grief that we all share.
I use this opportunity to offer my deepest condolences to his family, including his sports family, his friends and his fans.
This morning, I had the opportunity to speak to Asafa [Powell] who was extremely sad about what had happened. In reaching out to him, I felt that at least I was able to express directly to an outstanding athlete how I felt about Germaine’s passing and it made a difference to me.
Let us all share in this grief and let us all celebrate his life and achievements.
I pray that we will all be strengthened in the days ahead.”