Island Games opening ceremony on Saturday

It’s island time for the athletes of Cayman and many other exotic locales around the world.

The Island Games will begin Saturday night at 7pm. Gibraltar time – noon Cayman time – with a gala Opening Ceremony taking place at the Europa Sports Complex. The participants from all 22 islands will take part, parading around the grounds and representing the flags of their homelands.

The Island Games have been held every two years since 1985, and entries have grown from 15 islands in the inaugural edition to 22 this year. Cayman will be participating in 12 of the 14 sporting disciplines, with 10-pin bowling and judo serving as the only exceptions.

Cayman brought home 25 medals at the 2017 Island Games in Gotland, and seven of them were gold. Six of the golds came in athletics, but only one of the winners – Carl Morgan – returns in 2019. Morgan won gold in the triple jump, silver in the long jump and was part of a gold medal relay team.

Cayman’s other returning gold-medal winner is the men’s basketball team. Cayman beat Gibraltar, this year’s Island Games host, in an 82-80 thriller in the final game of the 2017 Island Games.

The games will run through 12 July, and Cayman will be competing in swimming, beach volleyball, table tennis, cycling, tennis, shooting, squash, sailing and the triathlon. Cayman’s women’s basketball team, a former two-time gold medal winner, will also be attempting to get back atop the podium in 2019.

All sporting events of the Island Games are free to attend, and people can follow along with the results at the competition’s official website