Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 10, 2016 : The participation of the St. Kitts and Nevis national track and field team currently in Brazil for the Rio Olympics, has been described as a source of pride for the twin-island federation by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports, Honourable Shawn Richards.
The seven member team, which includes the Legend Kim Collins, is preparing to contest the athletics events that begin on Friday, August 12. According to the St. Kitts and Nevis National Olympic Committee President, Alphonso Bridgewater, Antoine Adams will compete in the Men’s 100, 200 and 4×100 meter races, Kim Collins and Brijesh Lawrence in the Men’s 100 and 4×100 meter races, while the lone female Tamika Williams will race in the Women’s 200 meters. Jason Rogers, Lestrod Roland and Allister Clarke will participate in the Men’s 4×100 meters.
Minister Richards appeared on Wednesday’s (August 10) edition of the radio programme ‘Working for You’ and said the athletes will showcase their skills on a global stage amongst the world’s best but added that there are valuable lessons to learn.
“This competition I think will only bring out their best,” he stated. “Additionally, it gives them the opportunity to meet coaches who they may be able to develop relationships with, to network with fellow athletes, to look at the different styles, the different techniques used by other athletes and to make a determination as to how they themselves can perhaps adopt some of those styles, some of those techniques to better develop themselves to improve their own athletic skills.”
Although the athletes have not taken to the track as yet, they already have generated quite a buzz at the XXXI Olympiad. Much of the attention has been focused on the continued success of the 40-year-old Collins, who will be contesting his 4th Olympics. The outfits worn by the team at the opening ceremony of the Summer Games, on August 05, also made a big impression. Essence Magazine, which reportedly has a monthly readership of 8.5 million, rated the uniforms as among the best of the more than 200 featured.
“That of course is publicity that I don’t know we could ever pay for,” the deputy prime minister said.
He added that government invested about $500,000 in preparing athletes, including some of those that did not qualify for the Rio Games. This is in keeping with the mandate of the Ministry of Sports in particular, and the Government as a whole, to promote the development of sports and local athletes.
Kim Collins joined the team on Wednesday after being granted permission by the SKNOC to be excluded from the Opening Ceremony due to cramping issues that continue to plague him. Outside of Usain Bolt and Pcheal Phelps Collins might very well be the most talked about athlete at the World Games in Rio Brazil. He is being followed by CNN and other major news media outlets as he makes his historic 5th Appearance at the Olympics. No Male sprinted has ever done that before in history.