Team BVI hails Nanjing 2014 as an experience of a lifetime

IMG-20140829-WA0002On August 28th, 2014, the 2nd Youth Olympic Games concluded with a spectacular closing ceremony in Nanjing, China. With the games now finished, teams of the World have returned home including team BVI. For all participants, it was clearly not just another Games but a truly cultural, educational and competitive event, carefully designed to enrich the experiences of the athletes beyond the playing field.

Team BVI collectively summed up Nanjing 2014 as “definitely an experience of a lifetime.” Chef de Mission, Stephanie Russ Penn also noted that Nanjing, China did a tremendous job at creating and hosting these Games.


BVI Wins Gold as part of the inaugural mixed team relay
Competing in three sports swimming, sailing and athletics one of the most significant highlights for the BVI was the Olympic gold medal attained by Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner in the inaugural 8 x 100m Mixed Team Relay.

10614106_699614146786190_4970112474612636410_n(1)Warner, a member of Team #34, joined with nine other athletes from Romania, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Australia, Comoros, Germany and Thailand (2 being reserves) and contested the 4 male, 4 female relay winning in a time of 1 minute 40.20 seconds. The team comprised of a mixture of sprinters, throwers, jumpers and distance athletes.

Triple Jumper Akeem Bradshaw, hurdlers Deya Erickson and Kyron McMaster, long Jumper, Kala Penn, and sprinter, Nelda Huggins were also each a member of one of the 66 total relay teams that participated in the event.

In a format unique to the Youth Olympic Game, each track and field athlete had the opportunity to compete in a final regardless of placement in the preliminary round of competition. Initial performances determined each athlete’s designated final with the A final comprising of the top preliminary finishers and the medal contenders.

Huggins, 17, the only A finalist, lacked her usual race drive and had a sixth place finish overall running 11.87 seconds. She ran 11.81 to win her prior heat. While she had hoped to medal, her performance nonetheless is a tremendous accomplishment.

Warner, 16, won the C 800m final in 2 minutes 16.71 seconds. She was sixth in her 800m heat finishing in 2:18.67 seconds.

Penn, 16, had a best leap of 5.22 metres in the Long Jump to advance to the B final finishing 6th and ranked 14th overall.

Erickson, 17, ran the 100m Hurdles in 14.76 seconds but was withdrawn from the C final as an injury prevention measure.

Bradshaw, 17, placed fifth in the B Triple Jump final with a leap of 13.90m and ranked 13th overall. His opening jump of 14.33m in the preliminary round was his best jump of the Games.

McMaster, 17, in just the sixth 400m Intermediate Hurdles race of his career after running a tremendous 250m unfortunately push down the seventh hurdle, subsequently being disqualified. To add to the disappointment in his second chance of a mark in the B final, he was charged with a false start.

Team Official and Athletics Coach Ralston Henry congratulated his athletes for their collective efforts and encourages them to be confident and work harder to reach their true potentials in the sport.

There were numerous days of cancellations due to insufficient wind and an extra competition day at the latter point of the sailing competition. BVI sailor and opening ceremony flag bearer, Sam Morrell, 15, competing in the Byte CII Dinghy regatta however, managed to place 13th in the final race and climb 3 spots to rank 22nd overall in the fleet. He scored a total of 125 points and was able to finish in the top 15 three times (12th, 13th and 14th) during his eight total races. Both Sam and his coach, Chris Watters were pleased at the strong ending to his competition.

Swimmer, Amarah Phillip, 16, had the opportunity to compete in two events unlike her teammates. She placed sixth in her 50m Butterfly heat in 31.05 seconds and seventh in the 50m Free Style in 29.28, but did not advance to the semis in either event. She was privileged to be the closing ceremony flag bear of the BVI delegation.

Proud mother and coach while at the Games, Tracy Bradshaw was satisfied with the performances and elated to share in the Games with both daughters Amarah and Elinah, the BVI’s top swimmers.

10624778_700421073372164_1325521819460656315_nCultural and Educational Programme (CEP) Activities
In addition to competing, Team BVI took full advantage of the numerous cultural and educational activities provided throughout and outside of the Youth Olympic Village (YOV).

Activities ranged from daily interaction and Yogging amongst the numerous country booths in the World Culture Village set within the YOV; the learn and share booths that focused on WADA outreach, career programmes, fair play, injury prevention; the “Pump it Up” performances highlighting various types of Chinese performing arts, and in particular the BVI booth created by the Xiongzhou Junior High School.

Team BVI had the opportunity to exchange gifts with members of the junior high who presented unique rain flower stones to the BVI delegation.

Additionally, on Wednesday, August 27, Deya Erickson, and official, Ralston Henry interacted with Thomas Bach, International Olympic President as participants of the IOC Youth Session, while the previous day team BVI bonded with each other as well as athletes from other countries on the Nanjing Adventure and Treasure Activity.

Even though the Games have ended, the experience will live on in Team BVI who are appreciative to have “Shared the Games and Shared the Dreams” of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games underway

Team BVI ready for the opening ceremony of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Photo: Provided

Team BVI ready for the opening ceremony of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Photo: Provided

The Youth Olympic Games officially began with the completion of the spectacular Opening Ceremony on Saturday, August 16. Sailing competitor Sam Morrell, the proud flag bearer and the rest of the BVI team, swimmer Amarah Phillip, and track and field athletes, Akeem Bradshaw, Deya Erickson, Kala Penn, Kyron McMaster, Lakeisha Warner, and Nelda Huggins are geared up for everything the Youth Olympic Games 2014 has in store for them.

With yoggers in hand and pins ready for exchanging, they are already enjoying the experience of this international sporting, educational and cultural festival for teenagers. First day of competition for team BVI kicked off on Monday 18th August, with the start of the Byte II sailing regatta and the 50m Women’s Butterfly.

In sailing, after Race 4 of a total of 11 races, Sam Morrell currently is ranked 24th. The regatta will continue with Race 5 on Tuesday, August 19 at 11.00pm BVI time (which is Wednesday, August 20 at 11.00am Nanjing, China time)

In swimming, Amarah Phillip came 6th in her 50m Butterfly heat with a time of 31.05 and an overall ranking of 29. Amarah’s next event, the 50m Freestyle, will take place on Wednesday, August 20 at 10.oopm BVI time (which is Thursday, August 21 at 10.00am Nanjing, China time).

Athletics will start on Wednesday, August 20 with the BVI featuring Deya Erickson in the Women’s 100m Hurdles at 7.20 am BVI time (7.20pm Nanjing, China time), Kala Penn in the Women’s Long Jump at 8.00am BVI time (8.00pm Nanjing, China time), and Lakeisha ‘Mimi’ Warner in the Women’s 800m at 9.15am BVI time (9.15pm Nanjing, China time).

The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee (BVIOC) in collaboration with the Caribbean Broadcasting Inc (CBI) is pleased to confirm that live coverage of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games from Nanjing China can now be seen on Caribbean Broadcast Network (BVI) Limited (CBN) – Television (Channel 51).

CBN will offer 24 hours of coverage until the conclusion of the Games.

Click for the schedule of events of VI athletes competing.

The full Games schedule and results can be found on


NANJING 2014 YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES – Team BVI Competition Schedule

Nanjing 2014 Schedule

Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games – Team BVI Competition Schedule

Team BVI in Nanjing, China for 2nd edition of the Youth Olympic Games

Team BVI in Nanjing 2014. Photo: Provided

Team BVI in Nanjing 2014. Photo: Provided

The second Youth Olympic Games will kick off in Nanjing, China with the official opening ceremony which will take place on Saturday, August 16. Chef de Mission for Nanjing 2014, Stephanie Russ-Penn is settling in to the Athletes’ Village with the Virgin Islands’ young competitors from athletics, swimming, and sailing.

Team BVI includes the following athletes:
Sam Morrell, who has been selected as the flag bearer for the opening ceremony, will be sailing in the Men’s Byte CII (one person dinghy) starting on August 18.

Amarah Phillips will be competing in swimming in the Women’s 50m Butterfly on August 19, and in the Women’s 50m Freestyle on August 21.

In athletics the following athletes will be taking part in the qualification rounds: Deya Erickson in the Women’s 100m Hurdles on August 20; Kala Penn in the Women’s Long Jump on August 20; Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner in the Women’s 800m on August 20; Nelda Huggins in the Women’s 100m on August 21; Kyron McMaster in the Men’s 400m Intermediate Hurdles on August 22; and Akeem Bradshaw, Men’s Triple Jump on August 22.

“At the last Youth Olympic Games in 2011 we were represented just in Athletics and it is very pleasing to have athletes from three sports representing the Virgin Islands for the second edition of the Games,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Olympic Committee. “The athletes qualified for Nanjing 2014, hitting the required marks through hard work and dedication. Despite acclimating to a new culture, weather and most importantly, overcoming jet lag bearing in mind that Nanjing is 12 hours ahead of the BVI, we know that they are in good hands with Chef de Mission, Mrs. Stephanie Russ-Penn and we look forward to their performances in the upcoming competitions.”

The full schedule can be found on

800m runner Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner joins the 2014 Youth Olympic Team

Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner. Photo: Dean "The Sportsman" Greenaway

Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner. Photo: Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner has been awarded a Universality place and joins the 7 athletes previously announced by the BVI Olympic Committee as competitors for the Virgin Islands at the 2nd Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

The VI’s athletes for Nanjing 2014 will compete in Athletics, Sailing and Swimming. The Athletics team includes 100m sprinter, Nelda Huggins; 100m hurdler, Deya Erickson; long jumper, Kala Penn; 400m intermediate hurdler, Kyron McMaster; triple jumper, Akeem Bradshaw, and 800m runner, Lakeisha “Mimi” Warner.

Sam Morrell will be representing the Virgin Islands in sailing following his success in the 2014 Byte CII North American Championships to become the first VI sailor to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games.

In another first for the VI, Amarah Phillips will be representing the Virgin Island in swimming and she will be competing in the 50m Butterfly and the 50m Freestyle.

The delegation will also include Chef de Mission for Nanjing 2014, Mrs. Stephanie Russ Penn; Tracy Bradshaw (Swimming coach), Ralston “Grandfather” Henry (Athletics coach) and Christopher Watters (Sailing coach).

The team departs the territory on August 10 and will return on August 30. The official opening ceremony will take place on August 16 and will celebrate with a closing ceremony on August 28.

The full schedule of events can be found on the official Youth Olympic Games web site,

Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games athletes to be announced at Olympic Day celebration. Sochi 2014 Olympian to receive Olympic Participant Pin

Corrected to reflect new location and start time of Children’s Triathlon

Olympic Day runners DSC_0023The young athletes confirmed to represent the Virgin Islands at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in swimming, sailing and athletics will be announced this Saturday, June 21 at the Tortola Sports Club during Olympic Day celebrations.

The afternoon programme of events will take place between 4.00pm and 6.00pm and will include a special presentation of the Olympic Participant Pin by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports to Peter Adam Crook, the VI’s half-pipe skier at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The annual, symbolic Olympic Day 2-mile walk/run will close out the activities. The events are free and open to the public.

“The BVIOC wants the whole community to come out and support our young Olympians-to-be and to get involved with the message of Olympism,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We will have with us some of the young athletes who will be representing the Virgin Islands at the highest level of global competition. This will be the first time that the territory will be represented in the sports of swimming and sailing at the Youth Olympic Games. These participants, along with those from the sport of athletics, have worked extremely hard to qualify as competitors and the BVIOC is excited to see their efforts come to fruition.”

The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games will take place in Nanjing, China from August 16 – 28, approximately six months after the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games during which the VI was represented in the half-pipe ski event by Peter Adam Crook.

“Olympic Day is an occasion to highlight the Olympic values of Respect, Excellence, and Friendship,” noted Penn. “The philosophy requires us to be responsible citizens and to work towards unity through Respect for what has been entrusted to us, striving for Excellence in all that we do, and to foster local and global Friendships. He may not have achieved the score-board results hoped for, but Adam most recently demonstrated these values during his time at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia and this will be a fitting occasion to recognize his contribution to the Virgin Islands’ Olympic history.”

The activities, supported by Road Town Wholesale, distributors of Dasani and Coca Cola, will start at 4.00pm when runners and walkers can register for the symbolic Olympic Day walk/run. Participants will start from the Tortola Sports Club (TSC) at 4.45pm and will proceed west through Road Town and return to the sports club. Participants will receive a free tee-shirt and a certificate of participation on completion of the walk/run.

The Olympic Day run in Virgin Gorda will start at 6.30am (registration 6.00am) from the The Virgin Gorda Centre, HLSCC, The Valley. For details, contact Gloreah Gibson at or tel: 547-7404. The BVI Triathlon Federation will host a Children’s Olympic Day Triathlon at Smuggler’s Cove at 10:00am following on from the annual Summer Splash (corrected information). For details, contact Richard Morgan on 346-6002.

For more information on Olympic Day please contact Cleave Farrington, Executive Director of the BVIOC, by phone at 542 1007 or 496 6007 or by email at


Youth Olympic flame burns brightly for Nanjing 2014

Nanjing2014TorchLighting2_600x364The flame for the second Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, was lit today in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece. This marks the start of the Virtual Torch Relay which gives fans around the world the chance to get involved in the Youth Olympic Games via an interactive app before the flame arrives in China in August for the physical torch relay ahead of the Games.

Following Olympic tradition, the Youth Olympic flame was lit by the sun’s rays reflected in a parabolic mirror, with a priestess from the Temple of Hera passing on the torch to the first relay runner in Athens’ ancient stadium – the home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.  Four young athletes from Greece and China then performed a mini torch relay within the Stadium before igniting the Virtual Torch Relay which can be downloaded at

Attending the ceremony, along with IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge, were Chinese Olympic Committee Chairman Liu Peng, Mayor of Nanjing and NYOGOC Vice-President Miao Ruilin, Chairman of the Nanjing 2014 IOC Coordination Commission Alexander Popov and President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos.

“Today’s Lighting Ceremony marks the symbolic start of these Games. We hope it will inspire people to get active and to embrace the Olympic values”, IOC Honorary President Rogge said at the ceremony.  “Let the Youth Olympic Flame now carry the passion and dreams of the young people to every corner of the globe before settling in Nanjing in August.”

The flame will now start its virtual journey, stopping at 258 online locations including the 204 nations and regions that will participate in Nanjing 2014.  The app has may features to engage and inspire fans to get active and learn more about the Olympic values, as well as lots of fun games and activities. This new way of passing on the Youth Olympic flame aims to spread the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect to young people around the world regardless of language, time zone or geographical location.

After this 98-day digital journey, the Youth Olympic flame will arrive in Nanjing for a short physical torch relay before marking the start of the Games on 16 August.

Watch the Nanjing 2014 flame lighting ceremony