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Storm a threat to Olympic celebrations

Jackie Joyner-Kersee's arrival in Bermuda for the Bermuda Olympic Association's 80th anniversary celebrations this weekend at the Fairmont Southampton will depend on the impact caused by Hurricane Nicole.

The hurricane is forecast to hit the island by midday tomorrow and could impact the anniversary gala and youth sports clinic put on by special guest Joyner-Kersee who is scheduled to arrive on Friday afternoon.

The anniversary gala events, including a black-tie banquet, has been planned for some months.

“Given the approach and potential impact of Tropical Storm Nicole, which is forecast to pass very near Bermuda on Thursday as a Category 1 Hurricane, the BOA wishes to advise the public that the Jackie Joyner-Kersee youth sports clinic and anniversary gala events scheduled for Saturday, October 15 may be impacted,” Judy Simons, the BOA president, said in a statement yesterday.

“The BOA will confirm to participants in the youth sports clinic [scheduled to be held at National Stadium on Saturday] and ticket holders for the 80th Anniversary Gala [scheduled for the evening of Saturday] whether the events will go ahead or be postponed via a press statement to be issued on Friday, October 14.”

Joyner-Kersee, who won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the long jump and heptathlon for the United States in the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, will hold the clinic for about 100 youngsters, with invitations extended to all local track clubs and schools.

Added Simons: “I have been liaising with her all day yesterday and today on the situation and we're not going to access anything until at least Thursday afternoon.

“Obviously we'll be guided if there is damage to the airport or any other structural damages, but at the moment we are hoping Nicole is a ‘nice lady' and moves through without any action at all.

“We still plan to have our event on Saturday, however in the event that the airport is still closed on Friday, but opens on Saturday, we are still asking Jackie Joyner-Kersee to come to at least do the banquet.

“If the weather is good on the Saturday, but she is not able to get in, we will proceed with the unveiling of the wall [at the National Sports Centre] with our local dignitaries and hopefully she will still get in on time for the banquet.

“Everything is waiting to see what the assessment of the island is. We haven't even thought about cancellation 100 per cent at this time.”

Guest of honour: Joyner-Kersee is due to arrive on Friday, weather permitting

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Published October 12, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 12, 2016 at 8:27 am)

Storm a threat to Olympic celebrations

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