Portal:Bahamas

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The Bahamas Portal

Flag of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Coat of arms of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
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The Bahamas Listeni/bəˈhɑːməz/, officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets (rocks). It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States (nearest to the state of Florida). Its total land area is 13,939 km2 (5,382 sq mi), with an estimated population of 330,000.

The name Bahamas is of Lucayan Taino (Arawakan) derivation, although some historians believe it is from the Spanish bajamar, meaning “shallow water.” The islands occupy a position commanding the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the entire Central American region. Their strategic location has given the history of The Bahamas a unique and often striking character. It was there that Christopher Columbus made his original landfall in the Americas. The subsequent fate of the peaceful original inhabitants remains one of the more tragic episodes in the development of the entire region, while the early attempts at European-dominated settlement were marked by intense national rivalries, interspersed with long periods of lawlessness and piracy. As a result, the society and culture that has evolved in The Bahamas is a distinctive blend of European and African heritages, the latter a legacy of the slave trade and the introduction of the plantation system using African slaves.

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Atlantis Resort's Royal Towers
The Atlantis Paradise Island is a resort and waterpark located on Paradise Island, The Bahamas. Officially opened in 1998, the resort was created by South African hotel magnate Sol Kerzner and Kerzner International Limited. Paradise Island first opened its Coral and Beach Towers as the Trump Plaza, then changed its name to Atlantis when the Royal Towers were built. The Coral and Beach Towers were later refurbished to match the theme of the Royal Towers. On 28 March 2007 a 600-suite luxury hotel named The Cove Atlantis opened on Paradise Island. Another tower, the 497-room Reef Atlantis, opened 19 December 2007.


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Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie
Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie (born 16 January 1976) is a Bahamian sprint athlete who specialises in the 100 and 200 metres. She had her first major successes with the Bahamian 4×100 metres relay team, winning gold at the Pan American Games and World Championships in Athletics in 1999, and taking another gold at the Olympic Games the following year. She won her first individual gold medal at the 2001 World Championships – having initially won silver, gold medallist Marion Jones was later disqualified.

The 2002 season was a career high for Ferguson-McKenzie: she won five gold medals, with victories at the IAAF World Cup and Grand Prix Final, and a 100 m, 200 m and relay gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Her performance in the 100 m remains a personal best and Commonwealth Games record, and her time in the 200 m was the fastest by any athlete that year. She won her only individual Olympic medal in 2004, taking bronze in the 200 m. Injury ruled her out for the whole of 2005. She failed to reach the finals at the 2007 World Championships, unable to compete with the new generation of American and Jamaican sprinters. However, she managed to reach the 100 and 200 metres finals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


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Did you know?

  • ...that there are a total of 324 species of birds in the Bahamas, of which 4 are endemic, 11 have been introduced by humans, and 153 are rare or accidental?
  • ...that Junkanoo is a musical street masquerade, believed to be of West African origin, which occurs in many towns across the Bahamas and the Caribbean every Boxing Day and New Year's Day?

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