Young athletes to shine at triathlon ceremony
Bermuda’s young athletes are to take centre stage at the opening ceremony for the MS Amlin World Triathlon on Thursday night.
The parade to mark the launch of the event will include 33 young Bermudian flag bearers representing every nation competing in the triathlon on Saturday.
Jamahl Simmons, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, also called on all residents to turn up on Friday night to cheer on athletes in the TMR Kids Duathlon on Front Street.
Mr Simmons said the competition and its festivities will “again place Bermuda in the international spotlight”.
The minister added that young participants will “follow in the footsteps of Bermuda’s own athlete of the year”, Flora Duffy, fresh from her gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Mr Simmons said: “It cannot be understated, the fact that our students will have an amazing opportunity to compete on the world stage, and also be inspired by watching Flora Duffy compete in her own country.
He added Ms Duffy, along with Tyler Butterfield and Tyler Smith, were examples of Bermuda’s sports potential developed by the junior triathlon programme which had “developed significantly over the past 25 years”.
This week’s “world-class” events mark the second of eight stops on the World Triathlon Series before the grand final in September.
The opening ceremony will be Ms Duffy’s first public appearance since the Commonwealth Games, and will coincide with the 25th anniversary of Harbour Nights.
Leading the flag bearers at the procession will be swimmer Jesse Washington and high jumper Sakari Famous.
Steven Petty, president of the Bermuda Triathlon Association, said more than 200 youngsters had registered for the duathlon on Friday, which will be followed by festivities alongside the Digicel Feather Mile and street party.
Phil Schmidt, chairman of World Triathlon Bermuda, said that the hosting of events this week is also designed to boost triathlon sport in Bermuda.
Mr Schmidt added: “It makes a lot of sense to start with our children. Youth is where you create the opportunity for people to become confident human beings, and sports is a fantastic way.”
He added the island was “punching well above its weight” in hosting such a significant international event.
Mr Schmidt added: “It creates an opportunity for Bermuda to showcase itself and act as a role model, not just domestically, but to the world.”
He said overseas athletes came not only from the United States, Canada and Britain, but from as far away as Japan and Australia and the event will be broadcast to more than 160 countries.
Mr Schmidt said the event was “a fantastic opportunity for Bermuda to broadcast itself and its beauty”.
Announcements are expected today on road closures for the events. The triathlon has attracted more than 600 athletes.
Children keen to take part in the parade and compete in the races on Friday night can still register online.
Registration is open until tomorrow at tribermuda.com.
Pat Phillip-Fairn, the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s chief product and experiences development officer, said the BTA was pleased by the number of youngsters taking part.
She added: “These opportunities can inspire them in their own success and we wish them all a great race.”
A casual swim is planned for Horseshoe Bay Beach on South Shore at 9am on Sunday, when residents and visiting athletes can meet each other.
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