Revisiting the magic provided by Duffy
Once again, I write your column with warmth and joy in my heart for my love for my island of Bermuda and for my fellow residents.
Like many Bermudians, and our fellow residents, I was on Front Street to view our own wonder girl, Flora Duffy.
What a treat we all had watching history for Bermuda happen before our eyes; it was pure magic. She filled each of our hearts with love and joy. Just watching her professionalism play out before us all. Our first World Triathlon Series event staged in Bermuda. Wow.
Before we could only read and view snippets of Flora’s accomplishments throughout her professional journey.
I was so proud of Bermuda and our people, cheering Flora on; also for her fellow competitors in each stage of the triathlon. It felt like it was Bermuda Day, cheering our runners on May 24. I’m certain our overseas athletes left Bermuda with only special memories of our treasured pearl.
I watched our young people waving their small flags and cheering Flora on as she whizzed past them on each of her required laps. Their young faces and voices said it all: go Flora, go Flora.
All of you, young and old, who were present on the streets of Hamilton need to pat yourselves on the back for the amazing welcome given to Flora. Also a great welcome to her fellow world athletes. A Bermuda welcome is like no other place’s in the world.
No matter where you looked, everyone was in the same mood — elated with excitement over what they were witnessing happening right before their eyes. Waiting with bated breath to see the finish. Flora surely shone the whole way in every segment of the triathlon. What an amazing individual she has become.
She is certainly a guiding light for our children to emulate when setting any sporting goals they may have. This will ultimately help them with any future education choices as well. It would be so wrong of me not to mention the men’s team from Norway. I’m sure all Norwegians are still dancing in the streets of Oslo. Well done.
Unfortunately, I didn’t observe the first part of the triathlon, which was for amateur participation, and was also hailed a success. The highlight moment was a 75-year-old lady who took part in all three stages of the triathlon, and finished each of them. She was our college queen back during her college days. Her college chose Bermuda for their spring break vacation. She was chosen as queen for our annual Easter parade, and was the centre of attraction for the parade, moving with many flower floats that paraded the streets of Hamilton at Eastertide.
She was so elated to return to Bermuda after her long absence to participate in the triathlon. Just a thought!
I feel a special Bermuda stamp could be considered issued in her honour some day, as we did for Gina Swainson. Maybe a street sign could be given in her honour? Or a park with some significance could carry her name, such as the North Field on Frog Lane in Devonshire.
The Flora Duffy Sports Stadium has a nice ring to it ... I know, nice to dream.
On closing, may Bermuda and her people never lose that special inner love we give to those around us, especially family and friends, for the many kind gestures we give our visitors on a daily basis that go untold. This was surely shown in Bermuda. I’m sure all visitors, including participants in our World Triathlon Bermuda 2018 will have Bermuda on their tongues for weeks. Keep smiling, Bermuda.
I certainly can’t close this letter like I usually do with “Let’s Do It”. We did it together, Bermuda, as one people. Well done. May we continue to shine above the rest,
H. GORDY GIBBONS
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