Dale steps down from Olympic team role
Brenda Dale has stepped down as Bermuda's chef de mission for the Olympic Games in Rio because of family reasons.
Dale, who is also the Bermuda Olympic Association vice-president, will be replaced by Carlos Lee, a long-serving BOA official who performed the chef de mission's duties at last summer's Pan Am Games in Toronto.
Bermuda's other BOA officials travelling to Rio this week are president Judy Simons and Stan Douglas, who is the temporary secretary general in the absence of Phillip Guishard because of ill health.
“Although I won't be there physically, I will be with you in spirit!,” Dale wrote in an e-mail to the BOA.
“I congratulate all of our athletes and their coaches for working so hard to get here. I wish each and every one of you success in your competition, and a safe and enjoyable Olympic experience.”
In an interview with The Royal Gazette prior to her decision, Dale said she was optimistic the Olympics would run smoothly despite the concerns surrounding the first Games to be held in South America.
She felt there was some legitimacy to the big issues facing Rio, which have included poor infrastructure, the polluted Guanabara Bay and the Zika virus, but suspected a fair portion of the negative stories simply come with the territory for any city hosting a major sporting event.
“A lot of the controversy relates to the politics, the recession and safety and I think some of it is regular hype before any Olympics and some of it is legitimate,” said Dale, who is assistant vice-president for Wellness at BF&M.
“There will be a few hiccups, but there are hiccups before almost every major competition.
“I know they will want to make it the best experience for the athletes, officials and visitors that arrive.”
Having already visited Rio to inspect the competition's facilities along with other delegates, Dale said she was encouraged by the air of positivity and impressed with the work being done to make the event a success.
“I certainly had a positive sense from the Rio organising committee who are working 24 hours a day and I believe the majority of people [in Rio] really want to make it work,” she said.
“There are a number of young vibrant Brazilians involved and their heart and soul is in it.
“I really think it will be a good Games and the only thing we will do is ask for our athletes to be smart and safe.”