GOLD COAST, Australia – The Cayman Islands delegation of athletes, coaches and team officials was given a warm welcome to Gold Coast, Australia, for the XXI Commonwealth Games on Monday.
“I know you’ve worked hard and dedicated an immense amount of time into your training to make it here to represent your country,” said Games Village Co-Mayor Sara Carrigan at a brief ceremony Monday.
“The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games really is the friendly games, so I hope you embrace this and find new friends and strengthen the bond with your teammates,” Carrigan, a professional cyclist who has won Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals for Australia.
“To all the athletes, I wish you the very best. I hope you enjoy your journey throughout the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games,” she said prior to a gift exchange with Chef de Mission Dion Brandon.
Brandon presented Carrigan with a turtle sculpted from Caymanite and received an aboriginal shield as a symbol of protection for the athletes during competition.
Other teams at the ceremony included Kiribati, Mauritius, Nauru, Sri Lanka and Rwanda.
The Cayman Islands is represented by 21 of its athletes in seven sports – athletics, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, shooting, squash and swimming.
Cayman is one of 14 Caribbean countries and territories participating in the Games, and one of 71 from across the globe.
The Cayman Islands first competed in the Commonwealth Games in 1978 in Edmonton Alberta, Canada, and has sent athletes to every edition since then. This XXI Commonwealth Games will be the Cayman Islands’ 11th.
Track and field (athletics) has been the only sport to bring home medals. Kareem Streete-Thompson won a bronze in the long jump at the 2002 Games in Manchester. Cydonie Mothersill then claimed Cayman’s only gold medal in the 200m in Delhi 2010.
The opening ceremony will be held on Wednesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. (4 a.m. Cayman time). Flow Sports is the official broadcaster of the XXI Commonwealth Games in the Caribbean.