It’s been a trek four months in the making, but the Queen’s Baton, the Commonwealth’s equivalent to the Olympic flame, will land in Cayman on Friday as part of its 388-day journey leading up to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The symbolic baton will land on a flight from Miami at Owen Roberts International Airport at 12:58 p.m., and will visit several notable locations during its three-day tour of Cayman.
The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee invites the public to Pedro St. James on Saturday, where, from 3:30 p.m., the baton will be passed through the hands of “as many people as possible,” including athletes and citizens, according to a press release from the committee.
The baton will also be taken to Government House, the Cayman Turtle Centre, South Sound Squash Club, Stingray City, Kaibo Public Beach and East End before also making stops on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Cayman is the final Caribbean stop for the baton, which began its journey on March 13 at Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth II entrusted it to the first carrier, legendary Australian track cyclist Anna Meares, who will serve as an ambassador to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The baton wound its way through Africa, traveling to 18 countries before completing that section of the trip in South Africa on May 20. It will visit the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas from July 18 to 24 before making its way around the world and to Australia in time for next year’s competition.
The baton will travel all around Australia for 100 days before appearing at the opening ceremony of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 4, 2018. At that point, a message from the Queen will be removed from the baton and read aloud to declare the games open. That message has been part of the Commonwealth Games tradition since the 1958 games in Cardiff, Wales.