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Jamaica: Facts about country that is home to world’s fastest man

Jamaica is a Caribbean island nation with a lush topography of mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches.

Many of its all-inclusive resorts are clustered in Montego Bay, with its British-colonial architecture, and Negril, known for its diving and snorkeling sites.

Jamaica is famed as the birthplace of reggae music, and its capital Kingston is home to the Bob Marley Museum, dedicated to the famous singer.

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Usain Bolt

Jamaica is home to the fastest runner on earth, Usaim Bolt, who is also the world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay.

An eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016).

He also won two 4 × 100 relay gold medals.

He gained worldwide fame for his double sprint victory in world record times at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which made him the first person to hold both records since fully automatic time became mandatory.

Other famous sprinters from Jamaica include former 200m World Champion Merlene Ottey, two-time 200m Olympic Champion and 100m World Champion Veronica Campbell, former 100m World Record Holder Asafa Powell, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is the world record holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay Photo: Courtesy


Jamaica is is the undisputed authority for reggae music and dancehall with a lot of foreign music producers making music in Jamaica.

It is said that record companies often launch a new artist in Jamaica before they launch them internationally.

This, according to Wander Wisdom, was done with Rihanna, UB40, Harry Belafonte, and Steel Pulse.

Also, Jamaica is home to so many big names in Reggae including Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Greggory Issacs, Shaggy, and Sean Paul.


Jamaica is a very Christian country, which heavily influences its educational, political, and social systems.

According to the National Library of Jamaica, there are approximately 2.75 churches per square mile, a fact recognized by the “Guinness World Book of Records.”

There are also churches in people’s backyards and living rooms.

There are over 100 different Christian denominations in Jamaica the most popular ones being Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh Day Adventist, New Testament, Church of God, and Pentecostal.

James Bond

The first James Bond novel to be completed in Jamaica was Casino Royale, and three other Bond novels and movies, Dr. No, Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun feature Jamaican.

Dr. No, the first James Bond movie, was filmed in Jamaica.

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Beautiful women

Jamaica has won Miss World three times, in 1963 with Carole Crawford, in 1976 with Cindy Breakspeare, and in 1993 with Lisa Hanna.

The country has also made it to the semi-finals several times, the last time earning a controversial second place in 2007 with Yendi Philips.


The Rastafarian movement started in Jamaica in the 1930s, and since then has spread across the world to varying degrees.

Rastafarians believe that people of African descent living around the world are exiles, living in Babylon.

The ultimate objective is the return home to Zion, a reference name for Africa (the original birthplace of mankind) drawn from the bible.


Jamaica has one of the highest numbers of rum bars, or rum shops as they are called in the Caribbean, per square mile.

The island is also known for being the place that refined the already established rum making process, making it into its own resulting in the creation of numerous full-bodied and rich rums.

Jamaica takes credit for having the most expensive rum in the world, in the form of Jamaican distiller J. Wray & Nephew’s product bottled in 1940.

It said to be priced as high as KSh 5.8 million ($54,000)

Jamaica Rum
It said to be priced as high as KSh 5.8 million Photo: Courtesy

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Cannabis in Jamaica is illegal, but possession of small amounts was reduced to a petty offence in 2015.

Cannabis is locally known as ganja, and internationally cannabis consumption plays a prominent role in the nation’s public image, being tied to cultural touchstones such as Rastafari and reggae music.

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