London has been basking in sunshine all week and the extra warmth created by all the goodwill of hosting the Olympics radiates everywhere.
On Thursday the Games organisers had a series of welcoming ceremonies for countries and the Cayman Islands enjoyed theirs with Antigua and Barbuda, Germany and San Marino. Performed by young drama students, the costumed troupe had everyone enthralled with their singing, dancing and acrobatics.
This was a foretaste for the grand opening ceremony on Friday, directed by the legendary filmmaker Danny Boyle, which promised to be a fabulous display of colour, light, music and choreography.
The Cayman contingent enjoyed lunch at the expansive food hall in the athletes’ village after. The Cayman Islands team comprises of swimming brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser, sprinters Cydonie Mothersill and Kemar Hyman and hurdler Ronald Forbes.
Cayman Islands Olympic Committee President Donald McLean knows what it takes to compete at this level as he represented the Cayman Islands at the 1996 Atlanta Games as a sailor.
McLean said: “I think all the preparations are complete and the team is ready. We’re very pleased with it so far.
“The brief amount of what I’ve seen of the Olympic village I’m really pleased with it. It is quite compact and there are no long walking distances, it’s obviously new and very modern. The food hall is obviously as it should be, very big.”
Carson Ebanks is general-secretary of the Cayman Olympic Committee. These are his seventh Olympic Games, the first three as a competitive sailor.
“I feel very honoured to be here,” Ebanks said. “The Olympic atmosphere is definitely rising to the fore and the excitement. The welcoming ceremony was fantastic, a lot of enthusiasm from all the participants – athletes, performers, everybody.
“The team is in great shape, all in great states of mind and I think they will perform very well and I’m looking for good things from the team.”
Betty Baraud is chair of the Cayman Islands Fundraising Committee. She said: “I’ve been to the Olympic villages in Atlanta and Beijing and they have done very, very well here.
“It’s absolutely beautiful. Everything is done for the convenience of the athletes. There’s lots for them to do and it’s all in close proximity of everything so the athletes to have a very relaxed, not rushed experience here.
“I am going to the opening ceremony and will be attending the swimming but unfortunately I won’t be able to see the others as I’m leaving on 3 August.”