Motorcade planned to honour Bermuda’s golden girl, Flora
Bermuda’s first Olympic gold medal winner will be welcomed back to the island on October 11 with a motorcade in her honour.
Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, told the Senate this morning that Flora Duffy would be greeted at the airport by a delegation and taken to the Cabinet Office.
The motorcade will include a drive through Hamilton before she meets with David Burt, the Premier, for a special presentation.
The event will take place days before Ms Duffy competes in World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships and a week before her Olympic victory at the Tokyo games is celebrated with a national holiday.
Dr Peets said: “On Flora Duffy Day itself, on October 18, we hope to see the island participate in celebratory activities.
“While we have considered a large street event, the current Covid environment renders this inopportune and we will focus on activities that are safe for all concerned.
“We expect to include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, an announcement of the honours to be bestowed on Flora for her achievements and a firework display by the Corporation of Hamilton.
“The proposed renaming of a fitting location is subject to final approvals and this will be further announced to the public shortly.”
Dr Peets also confirmed that there would be a cheque presentation to Ms Duffy in recognition of her medal win, although he could not say how much she would be awarded.
He added: “It is hard to do justice to such a national accomplishment during a pandemic.
“The fact that the Olympics took place at all was in itself an achievement.
“We very much look forward to welcoming Flora back home to celebrate her win with her, and to share in our national pride for her achievement.”
Dr Peets said Ms Duffy’s victory had brought the island “tremendous joy and pride” in difficult times.
He said the Government was alive to the possibility that Covid-19 could force plans to change, but that Ms Duffy’s accomplishments would be recognised.
Dr Peets said: “Our attention and resources right now are focused on this very serious fight against Covid-19, so we might have to come up with some sort of plan b in the event that Covid curtails what we can and should do for Flora when she arrives.
“Flora belongs to us, and we belong to Flora, and time will not diminish our love for her or our ability to celebrate her.”
Ms Duffy is the first Bermudian to win the Olympic gold and just the second to win a medal at the Olympics.
Clarence Hill became the island’s first Olympic medal winner after he won the bronze medal for heavyweight boxing at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.