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Stadium send-off for Olympian and broadcaster Mike Sharpe

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Funeral service for sports star and broadcaster Mike Sharpe at the National Stadium (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A funeral service was yesterday held for Olympic athlete and veteran broadcaster Mike Sharpe at the National Stadium in Devonshire.

Mr Sharpe’s coffin – draped in the Olympic flag – was carried on a lap of honour around the track by fellow athletes and friends.

Those involved included friends from his training days in the run-up to his appearance in the 100 metres at the 1976 summer Olympics in Montreal.

Mr Sharpe, 65, stayed in the public eye after his running days were over through decades of sports and news journalism at the Bermuda Broadcasting Company and the former VSB.

Mr Sharpe’s son Mike Sharpe Jr told the congregation that he would keep his remarks “short and sweet, which is how my daddy would like it”.

He said his father was there for him “every single moment I needed someone” and “ would always come and save the day.”

He added: “You gave me the direction that I needed to be the man I am now.”

He said: “I promise to carry on your legacy and ensure that Mike Sharpe’s name is for ever held in the highest regard. I love you, big guy.”

Mr Sharpe’s granddaughter Yahni, said: “I want you to know that this is not goodbye – you will always be with me in spirit and in my heart.”

Mike Sharpe, broadcaster and Olympic athlete (File photograph)

Keyandae Lightbourne, another granddaughter and also a track athlete, said she remembered Mr Sharpe’s pride as he watched her compete at her school’s sports day.

Ms Lightbourne added: “Papa told me how proud of me he was and I would be the one to carry on his legacy.”

His daughter Mikheah shared a memory of watching her father deliver the evening news on ZBM with a coded signal to tell her he would be coming soon to collect her for the weekend.

When she asked him how he could come to collect her so quickly after reading the TV news, he told her: “Your daddy has super powers.”

Donnamae Webb-Masters, a veteran employee at the BBC, said Mr Sharpe worked at the company “on and off for more than 30 years”.

She said she was paying tribute on the company’s behalf to “a highly respected and popular colleague”.

Ms Webb-Masters added: “Mike spent most of his broadcasting career covering sport, but he also covered and reported the news.

“He was well liked at BBC and across the island and will be missed by countless people.

“Mike was a natural broadcaster and his enthusiasm shone in his reporting.”

She added: “People liked being interviewed by Mike, because he put them at ease and was sincere in his interactions.”

Branwen Smith-King, the secretary-general of the Bermuda Olympic Association, said she had trained with Mr Sharpe.

She added: “Everybody knew Mike – he was well respected not only as a world-class athlete but as an individual who cares and reported on the issues in his community.

“No doubt in his own way, Mike has impacted everyone in this community through his perseverance and his love of country.”

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Published January 11, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated January 10, 2022 at 8:12 pm)

Stadium send-off for Olympian and broadcaster Mike Sharpe

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