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A Jamaican Olympic Party In Rio Went Down Exactly As You’d Expect

Think Dutty Wine-meets-Samba with many sides of Red Stripe beer.

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One thing people who aren’t in Rio may not know about the Olympics is that many of the countries have official houses sprinkled throughout the city for nationals and tourists to visit.

They market themselves as spaces to feature ~cultural exhibitions~ but are more often than not they are also an excellent excuse to party.

That was certainly the case at Jamaica House, which opened its doors for the first time on Wednesday night.

The festivities took place at Prado Grill restaurant, located in the swanky neighborhood of Gávea in Rio. Attendants mingled over jerk wings and Jamaica's iconic Red Stripe beer, and looked on as the US men’s basketball team faced Australia on a huge screen inside a cabana lined with colorful hammocks and big couches.

Jamaica House at the #Olympics: If it weren't 66 degrees and rainy, I'd *almost* think I was actually on the island

Josephine, her daughter Joella, and her son Michael, are from Jamaica and were the first to show up when the house opened its doors Wednesday.

“We’re here to watch athletics, of course,” Josephine, who declined to give her last name, said, “but we’re also here to watch tennis and gymnastics.”

She added that she and her family were sad that tennis superstar Serena Williams had been ousted from the medal round, but that Joella had been especially enamored with the US women’s gymnastics team.

Jamaican mother, daughter, son: Josephine, Joella, Michael. They were the first at Jamaica House tonight #Olympics

As the night progressed and the rum began to flow, the music got louder and people got...windier.

*a few Red Stripes later at Jamaica House 😏* #Olympics

There were even a couple of notable appearances, including Jamaican Ambassador to Brazil Alison Stone Roofe…

I also met Jamaican Ambassador to Brazil Alison Roofe tonight

And track and field world record holder Usain Bolt! (Kind of.)

OMG look who just came! #JamaicaHouse #Olympics

People of all ages showed their dance moves that night. At one point, the DJ called for a "Wine 101 course.”


Marilyn Theozen, a South African ex-pat who has lived in Brazil for about six years, called Jamaican House’s opening night a huge success.

“It was a great venue with good music, and people got what they expected: A good time,” she said.