Draped in the Caymanian flag, with a bronze medal hanging around her neck, Rachell Pascal reflected on a proud moment in her burgeoning athletic career.
“It feels great,” said the 14-year-old after receiving her medal Sunday night following a third place finish in the javelin earlier the same day.
Pascal follows in the footsteps of her older brother Alex Pascal, who won gold at CARIFTA in the same event in 2013 and is now one of Cayman’s top senior athletes.
She said her brother had been an inspiration to her. He was in the crowd Sunday along with her parents as she threw 35.5 metres to take Cayman’s first official medal of the games.
Pascal said the passionate home support had given her an extra edge.
“Cayman is like a big family to me. Everyone up there was helping me and cheering me on and I really appreciate it.”
She said her family was her biggest support.
“My brother said if I get a medal in CARIFTA, him and my mother and father would give me $300, but my dad said if I don’t get a medal, I won’t be able to come home,” she joked.
“They were very supportive. My dad also helped me in the gym and throughout my training. My brother is always out there helping me, and my mother has a shirt that says ‘go Rachell and go mama’. I love my parents and my brother for being so supportive.”
She said she wanted to follow her brother’s path and compete overseas on a college scholarship.
“I learned all the skills from my brother. If I am training and not doing the right technique, he will come and say ‘Rachell come do this, come do that’. I watch his videos when he competes and sometimes I am there when he is competing, so that’s how I learned to do javelin,” she said.
At 14, she still has several years left in the under-17 age group.
“Hopefully I can get my technique better, train hard and be more aggressive and get gold next time,” she said.
In the long term, she has even bigger ambitions.
“In the future I want to try to make it to the Olympics,” she added.