Athletes start Olympic journey

Cayman’s Olympians are making their trek to London this weekend. 

Track and Field athletes Ronald Forbes and Kemar Hyman are participating in a pre-games training camp in Surrey, England prior to the 2012 London Olympics along with their personal coaches. Swimmers Shaune and Brett Fraser are on their way to Dublin, Ireland to prepare with their coach and fellow university swimmers leading into the competition.  

The Chef de Mission and Team Attaché arrive at the Games Village on Saturday, 21 July, with the athletes and officials arriving between 24-25 July.  

The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee has had much support from members of the community in preparing the team for the Games. Young Caymanian Rory Mann designed the Opening Ceremony outfits and hats. Team members will wear white trousers or skirts with white shirts or blouses and a blue jacket with white piping and a green tie or bow tie.  

The jackets and ties have been manufactured locally by Super Stitch Sewing and Fabric Centre with the CIOC logo applied to the jacket lapels by Island Embroidery Ltd. The outfits will be accessorized by a trilby style hat made from local thatch by Caymanian crafter Annie Joy Ebanks, blue canvas shoes sponsored by CROCS shoes and sunglasses sponsored by Oakley.  

Please look out for the Cayman delegation in the Opening Ceremony, right behind Canada and Cape Verde, and just before the commercials. On arrival at the Games village, the team will be outfitted with sports gear by the European company Erima. 

Cayman’s pins have always proven to be very popular and are strongly sought after at all Games. Young Caymanian Jaime Doak designed the Cayman memorabilia pins for the London 2012 Games. Inspired by true Caymanian heritage, the pins are in the shape of the Cayman turtle. There is a set of five pins, representing the five colours of the Olympic rings – blue, yellow, black, green and red. Initially, it was thought that the rings represented the five continents.  

The current view of the International Olympic Committee is that the rings reinforces the idea that the Olympic Movement is international and welcomes all countries of the world to join. The pins have already proven very popular locally and internationally and are available for purchase at the CIOC office on Smith Road. 

The Department of Tourism in London and Tortuga Rum Company locally have generously provided giveaways and rum cakes respectively, which will be distributed in London to each of the 205 countries at the Games along with a copy of the Cayman Team Booklet which has been produced by the CIOC through local company Tower Marketing. Some will also be available on Island for distribution. 

Ron Shillingford of Cayman Free Press will accompany the delegation as the official photo journalist. The CIOC thanks Cayman Free Press for affording Ron the opportunity to fulfill this role for the team. Ron will send media reports to all local media houses in the Cayman Islands during the Games.  

The Opening Ceremony will take place next Friday, 27 July, with the Closing Ceremony on 12 August. The participation schedule for the Cayman athletes in their events for swimming and track and field is set out in the accompanying side-bar. 

The Cayman Olympic Committee recently hosted a Send-Off Function to say “bon voyage” to the Cayman 2012 Olympic team; wishing them luck and giving them a chance to thank the numerous sponsors, family members and team of volunteers and supporters. 

The event was held at the Ortanique Restaurant in Camana Bay, welcoming home athletes Kemar Hyman, Shaune Fraser and Brett Fraser. Ronald Forbes was in Jamaica preparing for the Games by competing in the Jamaican Olympic Trials and Cydonie Mothersille was in Europe, also competing in preparation for the Games. 

His Excellency Governor Duncan Taylor and Mrs. Taylor attended the event to support the team. After a brief speech expressing his excitement and pride for the team leading into the Games, as is the tradition, he presented the Cayman Islands flag to the Team’s Chef de Mission, Lori Powell.  

Lori Powell announced Cayman’s final team of officials and athletes for the Games. Lori will be in charge of the team, with the Attaché Bruce Blake as her assistant. Two physiotherapists will attend to the needs of the athletes, namely Ashley Stern for the first week during the swimming events and Al Bartice-Smith for the second week, during the track and field events. The swimming athletes are Shaune and Brett Fraser, with Dr. Sook Lee Yin as their team manager.  

Their coach will be their university coach Anthony Nesty, who will attend the Games as a part of the delegation for his home country of Suriname. The track and field athletes are Cydonie Mothersille, Ronald Forbes and Kemar Hyman. Dalton Watler will be the team manager for this group, with Cayman National Coach Kenrick Williams as Head Coach. Each of the track and field athletes will be accompanied by their personal coaches; namely Ian Weakly for Cydonie, Joey Scott for Ronald and Kenneth Harnden for Kemar.  

Shaune Fraser spoke on behalf of the athletes. This will be Shaune’s third Olympic Games and he agreed that this is the strongest team that the Cayman Islands have ever sent. All the athletes are qualified at the Olympic ‘A’ standard for the Games and should have good performances in their events.  

He thanked all of the generous sponsors, the Government, the CIOC and the numerous volunteers who work constantly to ensure that the athletes have everything that they need to perform at their best. Shaune stated that he and the other athletes will do their very best to make Cayman proud at the upcoming Games, especially in light of the fact that many family members, friends and Cayman residents in general will be in London for the Games.  

Betty Baraud was in attendance, along with some of her dedicated Fundraising Committee members, who provide a huge support to the Olympic Team. Her efforts, along with Olympic Solidarity funding and Government funding, have greatly assisted the CIOC’s functionality over the past four years and this has surely enhanced the performance of the Cayman athletes by making more funds available for training and preparation for the Games.  

The CIOC is in the process of improving their website, However, the present site has now been updated to include information on the London 2012 Olympic Games and its athletes, with a countdown clock to the Opening Ceremony.  

A Facebook link and a Blog page are also active, as well as a link to the London 2012 twitter account. Sincere thanks to Andy Bonner of Cayman Active for assisting the CIOC with this “facelift”. 

The CIOC congratulates all our athletes and wishes the team a successful Games for London 2012. 

ci olympicjourney

The Olympic send-off featured, from left, Lori Powell, Bruce Blake, Shaune Fraser, Kemar Hyman, Brett Fraser, Donald McLean, Governor Duncan Taylor. – PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD