Local athletes started their Mexican sojourn with great fanfare.
The Cayman Islands was one of 31 countries that took part in the opening ceremony for the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games. The Estadio Luis Parata Fuente football stadium in Veracruz, Mexico, served as the venue last Friday, with Ricky Martin the featured musical act. The Puerto Rican singer belted out a mix of new songs and classics – such as “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and “The Cup of Life” – to the delight of a crowd of some 23,000, with thousands more watching over Mexican TV.
Chef de Mission Trent Christie, who served as Cayman’s flagbearer, said it was a thrilling experience.
“It was such an honor carrying the Cayman Islands flag,” Christie said. “The whole CAC Games has been the best experience of my life. I can’t wait for the athletes to get here and start competing.”
Roughly 5,700 athletes will compete across 46 sports. The competition, which runs under the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization until Nov. 30, is a qualifier for the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto, Canada. Cayman is sending to Mexico 38 athletes and 15 coaches and support staff, along with three technical officials, focusing on seven sports: athletics, boxing, rugby, squash, sailing, swimming and volleyball.
Most of Cayman’s athletes will not compete until the end of this week. According to the latest schedule, the first Cayman athlete in action will be swimmer Catriona MacRae, 16, in the Women’s 10-kilometer marathon swimming event on Nov. 21-22. Boxer Tafari Ebanks, 20, will be in action Nov. 21-29 in the Men’s 56-kilogram bantamweight division.