Cydonie gets her rewards

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Tears rolled down Cydonie
Mothersill’s face as she gave an emotional speech in Heroes Square on Monday
night at a presentation organised by the government to congratulate her on
winning the Commonwealth Games 200 metres gold medal last week.

Cydonie’s achievement in Delhi,
India, was the first time a Cayman track and field athlete had won gold at a
major tournament. and Premier McKeeva Bush, Minister of Sport Mark Scotland and
many politicians, sports figures and the public turned out to congratulate her
and see the 32-year-old sprinter receive her rewards.

Mr. Bush handed her a $5,000 cheque
bonus and she was also presented with a 2010 Chevy Tahoe SUV, donated by
Advanced Automotive. As she received the keys, Mr. Bush quipped: “The
government has waived the $46,000 duty on this vehicle so I don’t expect to see
a freedom of information request on this topic!” 

The celebratory atmosphere started
with a speech by Mr. Bush who recalled Cydonie from her teenage years when he
was minister of sport at the time she won gold medals at the CARIFTA Games. He
congratulated her for her tenacity and dedication to getting to the top despite
many setbacks and obstacles along the way, primarily injuries.

In his speech, Mr. Scotland said
Cayman has its own star now who we have all seen on television. To great
applause he highlighted the fact that 71 countries competed at the Commonwealth
Games, representing 1.9 billion people – roughly one-third of the world’s population
– and tiny Cayman, with a population of around 50,000 — of which only about
half are eligible to represent it — produced the fastest woman.

Three young girls gave Cydonie a
bunch of flowers and one made a speech saying how much the athlete had inspired
others to try to achieve their goals.

Cydonie thanked all
the governments who have supported her over the years, the Olympic Committee
and the track associations, her husband Ato Stephens, mother Angela Whittaker,
her coaches – especially Evelyn Rockett and Kenrick Williams – the New
Testament Church of God and the general public.

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Cydonie has inspired the next generation of athletes.
Photo: Ron Shillingford

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Cydonie could not wait to get her car keys from Mr. Bush.
Photo: Ron Shillingford

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