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Clarence Hill: ‘For all these years, I believed’

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Tribute to Flora: Bermuda’s first Olympic medal winner Clarence Hill (File photograph)
Gold medalist Flora Duffy of Bermuda celebrates during a medal ceremony for the women's individual triathlon competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Bermuda’s first Olympic medal-winner, Clarence Hill, said last night that his faith in the island’s talents had been borne out by Flora Duffy’s triumph in Tokyo.

The boxing heavyweight who brought home a bronze win from the 1976 Montreal Games said of Ms Duffy’s golden achievement: “To be an Olympian myself, and watch someone else do it and get two medals higher – that was great.”

He told The Royal Gazette: “I congratulate her very, very much, and I hope to meet her when she comes back to this island. We need to meet up and talk. I am the first; she is the second – who is going to be the third?”

He said of Ms Duffy joining Bermuda’s most exclusive club: “For all these years, I believed. Even though it took a long time coming, I had the feeling in my heart, and she proved it.

“She started from the front and stayed there. What’s she made of? Something strong.”

Along with the rest of Bermuda and Bermudians abroad, Mr Hill spent close to two hours riveted by the triathlon.

Brimming with pride, he said of Mr Duffy’s performance: “She never gave up. The trials she had to go through, the training, it takes a lot, a lot of dedication. It shows what dedication can do – a gold medal.

“To win an Olympic model, it’s a talent you carry, and she carries great talent.

“I won the first Olympic medal but I knew somewhere down the road in this small island of ours, we had it, and it was her.”

Congratulations also came in from Winston JR Jones, the manager of the Big Blue Machine, the women’s softball team that won the gold medal at the CAC Games in Medellin, Colombia in 1978.

He said: “I wanted to call and offer congratulations on behalf of the team that won gold 43 years ago!

“She was brilliant. She had a plan and obviously she built on past experiences and executed it.

“We often overlook that it takes years to build to that level. When we won the gold medal, some of our players had been working at it for 22 years.”

He added: “ I hope what will come out of this is that her victory will inspire other young people not to give up. There’s more gold than can be mined. She was brilliant, just brilliant.”

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Published July 27, 2021 at 7:43 am (Updated July 27, 2021 at 9:10 am)

Clarence Hill: ‘For all these years, I believed’

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