26-year-old will compete in slalom, giant slalom
Cayman residents watched the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Friday with one specific interest: to see Dow Travers, the country’s sole representative, flying the national flag with pride.
The opening ceremony was an extravagant, three-hour affair, which included classical music, ballet and many visual and sound effects covering numerous topics.
After seven years of building to the occasion, the opening was believed to be the most expensive in Olympic Games history.
Mr. Travers is making his second appearance at a Winter Olympics, having competed at the 2010 Vancouver Games, where he placed 69th in the giant slalom.
Anthony Travers, Dow’s father, was elated. “The media coverage of Dow has been terrific,” he said. Travers spoke on the phone from Quebec City, where he was with another of his sons, Dean, who will race in the Nor-Am Cup downhill events there this week.
Born and raised in Grand Cayman, Mr. Travers, 26, is the eldest of three athletic brothers. He spent his teen years at school in the United Kingdom and then was accepted at Brown University, a U.S. Ivy League school in Rhode Island. He represented the university in alpine ski racing and rugby and graduated with a degree in geology-biology. He has also represented Cayman in rugby.
In preparation for Sochi, he trained with his younger brother Dean out of Aspen, Colorado, with their coach, former U.S. Olympic skier Jake Zamansky, and the Aspen Valley Ski Club.
The support team for Mr. Travers is David Carmichael as chef de mission and coach Zamansky. Travers competes from Feb. 19 in the giant slalom and in the slalom on Feb. 22.
The rest of the team includes Olympic attaché Henry Harford, Donald McLean, the president of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, and Bernie Bush, the local Olympic Committee treasurer, plus Travers’s parents.
Apart from Mr. Bush, there are no other government officials at the Games. He is attending in his capacity as the Olympic committee treasurer.
“I am happy that we have young skiers at that level, and it sure is great for Cayman and I wish them well,” said Osbourne Bodden, minister of Sports. “They will serve as inspiration for other young people in sports. It shows dedication and what’s possible.”
As for the reason why the government did not send representatives, Mr. Bodden added, “It’s good for government officials to be able to attend to offer support when it’s not a strain on the government budget, but in these lean times it’s not prudent to do so.”