Marion Jones to visit Belize
Belize is gearing up for the grand visit of North American Olympic track
star Marion Jones next Tuesday. After an unprecedented performance at the
Sydney Olympics, a joyful Jones expressed interest in visiting Belize, and
her wish is about to become reality.
National Sports Council director Clara Cuellar has been working along with
city manager Marcia Mahler, NSC vice chairman Allan Sharp, and Belize
Amateur Athletic Association president Nelson Hyde in planning Jones' visit
Cuellar said that the goals of the visit are to honour Marion Jones
Belizean style, to make sure that the Belizean public has enough chance to
interact with Jones, to look at the long-term benefits to gain from this
visit, and look at funding for young athletes.
The City Council and the NSC have been working diligently to spruce up the
National Stadium for Jones' visit. Sharp said that the National Stadium was
in need of repairs, especially after hurricane Keith.
Currently, the roof, restrooms, lighting, public entrance, and the
athletes' entrance are being repaired. Lighting of the track and football
field is also being worked on and the overgrown bush is being cleared.
Upon her arrival at the Goldson International Airport on January 9, Marion
will be welcomed by Prime Minister Said Musa, Minister of Sports Cordel
Hyde, Mayor David Fonseca, Sports Council chairman Marshall Nuņez, and
Belizean Olympian Emma Wade.
She will then travel by motorcade to the Belcan roundabout where Mayor
Fonseca will present her with the Keys to the City. The motorcade will
proceed through the streets of Belize City.
Jones is scheduled to conduct her first press conference at the Princess
Hotel at 4:30 p.m. that same day.
A breakfast show with Jones at the Princess Hotel Conference room is
planned for 7:00 a.m. the following day after which Young track and
field athletes will get to meet her at the National Stadium. Jones'
itinerary also includes a visit to Dangriga where she will be welcomed by
Mayor Cassian Nuņez. She will also meet with schoolchildren and other
Then, she will fly to Punta Gorda to meet Mayor Anthony Westby and
Later, in Belize City, Marion will receive the Order of Belize in a
ceremony at the National Stadium on Wednesday night. After the ceremony,
Mayor Fonseca will host a dinner in Jones' honour at the Radisson Hotel.
After a business meeting at the National Sports Council office on Thursday
morning, a BDF Defender will fly Marion to Orange Walk to meet Deputy
Prime minister John Briceņo and Orange Walk sports council chairman Mark
Chavarria at the Tower Hill factory. Mayor Reynaldo Burgos will welcome
her at the Orange Walk central park for a school rally.
The next stop on Marion's itinerary will be the new administrative building
in Belmopan for a tree-planting ceremony with Mayor Anthony Chanona
Thursday afternoon, followed by an autograph session.
Marion will return to Belize City on Friday Jan. 12 before leaving for the
U.S. She will host the last press conference of her visit at the Princess
Hotel at 1:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.