‘Every person in Bermuda should be immensely proud’
Sports bodies across the island sung Flora Duffy’s praises yesterday after her historic gold medal-winning performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
Donna Raynor, the president of the Bermuda National Athletics Association, said that Ms Duffy’s triumph in the women’s triathlon was a “watershed moment” for the country.
She added: “I think for women this is a proud moment because it also shows our little girls that they can do it and that it’s not impossible.
“I think that for our island this also shows that, whether we are a small community or not, we have the potential to be among the best.
“We keep on saying ‘we don’t have the resources’; we have it, we just have to commit, we’ve just got to stay dedicated and we’ve just got to put in the hard work.”
Ms Raynor added: “I’m really happy to see Flora’s hard work and commitment and dedication come to fruition. To see it all come together and get a gold medal is just awesome.
“You can have everything come together and just have a good performance, but for it to come together and you get a Gold medal at the pinnacle – I mean the very, very top at the Olympic Games – is just so awesome.
“I just feel so happy and so proud of her and I congratulate her to the fullest.”
Ms Raynor added: “You could tell she was in full control and when she did the transition from the bike to the run she was determined – you could see the determination on her face.”
Ms Raynor said that Ms Duffy’s performance reflected “years and years” of training, particularly through her “flawless” transitions.
Ms Raynor said that Bermuda could now even see a spike in interest in triathlons – but reminded those who wish to get involved to stay committed.
She said: “This has been 15 years in the making for Flora – this was not overnight – and I think that some of our young people seem to feel that things are going to happen overnight when they don’t.
“It takes a lot of time to reach that success, so I’m hoping that, if people are excited about it, it’s a lingering excitement and that it doesn’t just last for the next two or three months.”
Ms Raynor added: “I hope that it lasts and that these children have in their minds ‘I can do it, I’ve just got to put in the hard work and I’ve got to be committed’.”
David Sabir, the president of the Association of National Sport Governing Bodies, said he was “absolutely over the moon” to watch Ms Duffy’s victory.
He added that what she accomplished was “something out of this world”.
Mr Sabir said: “She has flown the flag for Bermuda for many, many years – then, on top of all of her amazing accomplishments, she has taken the world by storm.
“She has performed amazingly well and I think every person in Bermuda – every person who feels something about Bermuda – should be immensely proud and inspired.
“All those who have worked with her, supported her – at the top of that list her parents, the Bermuda Triathlon Association, Bermuda Olympic Association, Bermuda Government, all her friends and supporters around the world – everyone should be celebrating Flora’s amazing triumph in the Tokyo Olympics.”