BVI takes away positive experience from Rio 2016

Rio 2016 Team BVI - Elinah Phillip – 50m Freestyle; Tahesia Harrigan-Scott – 100m; Eldred Henry – Shot Put; Ahsley Kelly – 200m. Photo: BVIOC

Rio 2016 Team BVI – Elinah Phillip – 50m Freestyle; Tahesia Harrigan-Scott – 100m; Eldred Henry – Shot Put; Ahsley Kelly – 200m.
Photo: BVIOC

As the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games came to a close in a festive celebration of the 31st Olympiad on August 21, the BVI delegation of athletes, coaches, physiotherapist and doctor returned home with unforgettable experiences and memories.

The BVI was represented by four athletes in two sports / four events.

“This has been the largest team to attend the Summer Olympic Games in the last four Olympiads,” said Ephraim Penn, President BVI Olympic Committee. “Over the years the BVIOC has worked behind the scenes to tap into funding offered by bodies such as Olympic Solidarity to put additional resources in place to help our National Federations develop and train promising athletes. This effort is now bearing fruit as we start to see a resurgence of athletes in different sports making it to the biggest stage of competition. We commend our athletes for their dedication to getting here and encourage them to continue their efforts in achieving their potential as we look ahead to Tokyo 2020.”

16-year old swimmer, Elinah Phillip, who attended her first Olympic Games on a universality invitation, competed in the 6th Heat
of the 50m Freestyle to come in third place with a time of 26.26. While this was not enough to advance her to the semi-finals, the result delivered a Personal Best and a national record.

Elinah Phillip, 50m Freestyle. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip, 50m Freestyle. Photo: BVIOC

“My overall experience of Rio 2016 is that it wasn’t as daunting as it may seem, it’s just like another swim but it just means so much more because you’re representing your country and you want to do everyone proud. When I heard the start I just went for it, I didn’t hold back and gave it everything I had and finished strong. I was very happy with the result and based on the progress I have made in the past 6-months, I can’t imagine what will happen if I keep working in the way that I have in the next four years.”

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott taking stock of the track. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott 100m. Photo: BVIOC

For Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, this was a bitter-sweet farewell to the Olympic arena as she concluded her third Olympic appearance with her final attempt at the 100m dash. Tahesia ran a time of 11.54 in her heat which did not advance her to the semi-finals. Tahesia was disappointed with her time, noting that it did not reflect the level of fitness and preparedness that she felt for the Games. Tahesia’s current Personal Best is 11.12 and her Season’s Best is 11.39.

“I had the pleasure of representing the BVI at 3 Olympic Games and every time I have enjoyed the experience and found an inspiration to motivate me to my next task. This third, and what I may consider my last Olympics, was quite eventful. This was the biggest Olympic team that I have been a part of and was extremely proud to be a member. This journey and everyone’s preparation to make it to Rio did not go unnoticed. Despite our performance and whatever we took from it, please know that this is just the beginning. I thank everyone who made this experience possible and joyous.”

Ashley Kelly 200m. Photo: Rio 2016

Ashley Kelly 200m. Photo: Rio 2016

Ashley Kelly, who was the flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony of her first Olympic Games, was the third athlete to represent the territory. She finished in 5th place with a time of 26.26 in Heat 9 of the 200m. Thrown by a runner drifting into her lane in the stretch, Ashley lost focus on her race with a disappointing result for the athlete. Her Personal and Season’s Best time is 23.17.

“I started out of the blocks strong but lost my focus when the runner in lane 6 drifted out into my lane. Overall, while I walked off the line disappointed, I walk away from this experience so happy and blessed. I believe this is only the beginning. Thanks to all the supporters and the entire BVI community.”

Eldred Henry Shot Put. Photo: Zimbio.com

Eldred Henry Shot Put. Photo: Zimbio.com

Eldred Henry rounded up the BVI’s participation when he competed in his first Olympics under the universality invitation. He took to the field in Group B of the Shot Put qualifying round but his throw of 17.07 meters did not advance him to the finals. His Personal Best is 20m and Season Best is 19.39m.

“It wasn’t the result I wanted, but it was a learning experience. I met some of my throwing heroes who have inspired me to aim for my potential and focus my training and set goals for the upcoming three major events in my field: the IAAF World Championships in London 2017, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”

Rio 2016 Chef de Mission, Stephanie Russ Penn, under the oversight of the BVI Olympic Committee Executive, managed the territory’s presence at the Games. Her role included undertaking the administrative process for the attendance of the athletes and delegation in advance of the Games as well executing official requirements and on-the-ground management of daily team programmes during the Games.

Rio 2016 Chef de Mission Stephanie Russ Penn.

Rio 2016 Chef de Mission Stephanie Russ Penn.

“The BVI can be proud of its team members who remained focused in the run up to each of their events. The coaches, physiotherapist and doctor were on call as needed and provided critical services to the athletes in their preparations for competition.

“Overall the experience has been positive. Whilst there were some challenges, fortunately our time at Rio 2016 was not particularly hampered by issues of security or on-site amenities. The Brazilian people we met were warm, friendly and helpful and I must give special mention to our two dedicated Brazilian NOC Assistants, Elaine and Jessica for their invaluable roles in helping me get things done during the Games.”

In addition to Mrs. Russ Penn, the official delegation to Rio 2016 included Winston Potter, Head Athletics Coach, Omar Jones, Athletics Coach, Benoit Grattepanche, Swimming Coach, Tracy Bradshaw, Swimming Chaperone, Matthew McGrath, Physiotherapist, Dr. Harlan Vanterpool, Doctor, Mark Chapman, Olympic Attache, Ephraim Penn, President, BVIOC and Lloyd Black, Secretary General, BVIOC.

About Rio 2016
More than 11,000 athletes from 207 National Olympic Committees took part in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. There were 306 sets of medals across 28 Olympic sports, including rugby sevens and golf, which were added to the Olympic program in 2009. These sporting events took place at 33 venues in the host city of Rio, and at five in São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília, and Manaus.

The United States topped the medal table for the fifth time in the past six Summer Olympics, winning the most golds (46) and most medals overall (121). Great Britain and China finished in second and third respectively. Host country Brazil won seven gold medals, their most at any single Summer Olympics.

Rio 2016 Delegation

Dr Harlan Vanterpool, Team BVI Physician.

Dr Harlan Vanterpool, Team BVI Physician.

Dr. Matt McGrath, Team BVI Physiotherapist

Dr. Matt McGrath, Team BVI Physiotherapist

Benoit Grattepanche

Swimming coach, Benoit Grattepanche

Coach Omar Jones with Eldred Henry at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Coach Omar Jones with Eldred Henry

Coach Pottter, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Ashley Kelly, BVIOC President, Ephraim Penn

Coach Pottter, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Ashley Kelly, BVIOC President, Ephraim Penn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lloyd Black, BVIOC Secretary General

Lloyd Black, BVIOC Secretary General

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the Team BVI Rio 2016 Album

Behind the Scenes at Rio 2016 with Eldred Henry

Eldred Henry during training at Rio 2016. Photo: BIVOC

Eldred Henry during training at Rio 2016. Photo: BIVOC

It’s was a cold and drizzly day in Rio but the training must go on for 21-year old Eldred Henry, BVI’s first shot putter to go to the Olympics. His event takes place at the Olympic Stadium in the morning of Thursday, August 18 at 9.55am BST (8.55am EST).

Soaking up the experience of being at his first Olympic Games, Eldred has been training twice a day, every day since the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony on August 5.

The morning session is usually muscle work in the gym where the concentration is on power. The afternoons are committed to throwing.

Eldred gets on the bus departing for the Air Force Club from the Athletes’ Village. On this particular day, he’s in the company of some of the other throwers training under the watch of Eldred’s mentor, Tennessee coach, John Newell. The chat on the 30-minute journey is all about the field sport of throwing.

Once at the training base, Eldred exchanges his accreditation card for a couple of shot puts and makes his way to the ring with Nigerian thrower, Stephen Mozia, ranked third in the world.

Eldred Henry dusting with chalk prior to the throw at training at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Eldred Henry dusting with chalk prior to the throw at training at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

“Most of the days I haven’t had any other throwers around so it’s actually quite good to observe them, especially if they are using a technique that my coach has been training me to use.”

Eldred’s coach, Omar Jones arrived into Rio a few days after Eldred during which time the 6’5” athlete maintained his training schedule with BVIAA Head Coach, Winston Potter.

“I have improved quite a lot since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, primarily because I switched from gliding to rotating when I started training at Arizona Central College,” he explains. “While training here in Rio, I had been sending clips of my throws to Coach Omar so that he can review them and let me know where I need to focus. It’s good to have him here though because he can help me make any adjustments in real time and help me get into my rhythm.”

In the run up to competitions, Eldred prepares body and mind for peak performance. This includes cutting out sugars and sweet foods so as not to slow down his muscles and trying to adapt to a sleeping and waking pattern to suit his competition hours.

Eldred strapping up his wrist prior to a throw. Photo: BVIOC

Eldred strapping up his wrist prior to a throw. Photo: BVIOC

“Trying to get enough sleep has been a bit of a challenge for me because my timetable in the BVI is different, but I should be okay,” he says.

On his mind set for competition day, Eldred says that he learned a lot from Glasgow 2014, including what to expect once he enters the arena. “I need to stay level headed and calm. My Personal Best is a 20 meter throw which actually was a safety throw and my Season Best was 19.39 in Tucson in May this year so I feel that if I can stay relaxed and focused, I can get out there and try and do even better.”

Coach Omar Jones with Eldred Henry at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Coach Omar Jones with Eldred Henry at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Behind the Scenes at Rio 2016 with Ashley Kelly

Ashley Kelly in team wear at Rio 2016 Photo: BVIOC

Ashley Kelly in team wear at Rio 2016 Photo: BVIOC

After the whirlwind of excitement of leading Team BVI as the British Virgin Islands’ Flag Bearer into the Maracana Stadium at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Ashley Kelly switched into full training mode for the upcoming Women’s 200m heats which kick off at 8.35am on Monday, August 15.

Waking up bright and early on day 6 of the Olympics, Ashley grabs a bowl of cereal and makes her way to the Athletes’ Transport hub with Head Athletics Coach Winston Potter and personal coach, Pete Charles. Plugging in to some tunes, Ashley takes the opportunity to focus on the morning ahead during the 20-minute bus ride.

The sun is out and it’s a moderately cool and temperate day in Rio. The Navy Base Club, one of the three athletic training grounds for Rio 2016, is active with athletes from all over the world clustered in small groups on the track field. The trio that make up Ashley’s group find a spot under the tent and discuss the set of exercises that Ashley will do that morning.

“I don’t normally get a say in what my training schedule looks like,” says Ashley. “I can tell Coach if my body is particularly
hurting but otherwise, it’s his decision on what I will be doing that day.”

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Ashley Kelly training at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Ashley begins her session with stretches and limb warm ups. “I’m not doing any starts today,” she explains. “It’s a light training day so I’ll do a couple of short sprints and finish with one hard 200m sprint.”

The following day being a rest day means that Ashley will go back and have a session with the Team BVI physiotherapist, Matt McGrath. “I don’t tend to have treatment if I’m training the next day because Matt’s work goes deep into my muscle and it takes a while for the soreness to dissipate.”

Matt agrees, explaining that the physical response to the targeted treatment varies from individual to individual.

Ashley Kelly with Head Athletic Coach Winston Potter and personal coach, Pete Charles. Photo: BVIOC

Ashley Kelly with Head Athletic Coach Winston Potter and personal coach, Pete Charles. Photo: BVIOC

Ashley had incorporated some light gym work in her training regime at the start of the week just to warm up her muscles. “At this point, it’s not about building or strengthening muscles and Tuesday was my last day at the gym. The hard work has been done and now it’s about keeping in optimal condition for competition.”

There is a lot of support for each other in the three apartments shared by the Team BVI delegation of athletes, coaches, physiotherapist and Chef de Mission at Olympic Village. Everyone is on a different schedule but there is constant communication between them through social media chats to make sure that everyone is kept up to date with information, plans (and jokes).

There are dining options in the Village but as a person who likes her fresh fruits, Ashley keeps a stock to hand along with healthy snacks that she tucks into as she feels like.

Ashley Kelly in training at at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Ashley Kelly in training at at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

“I’ve met up with some of my peers from Illinois and other track meets and I’ve had the opportunity to watch some fencing and basketball,” says Ashley of her extra curricular time at her first Olympic Games. “Those are the two sports I was particularly keen to see at this level and that’s enough for now. My end game is why I’m here and that’s what I’m focused on.”

Behind the Scenes at Rio 2016 with Tahesia Harrigan-Scott

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott taking stock of the track. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott taking stock of the track. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott is looking relaxed as the veteran Olympian of the British Virgin Islands’ team of four competing at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. She is on her way to the Maracana training ground, adjacent to the stadium where she will be competing on August 12.

Rio 2016 is Tahesia’s third Olympic Games and where she will run the 100m.

It’s an evening training session and the track is active with athletes from all nations, including Grenada’s 400m Gold medalist, Kirani James, running drills.

Tahesia sips her pre-work out drink before she starts her routine of waking up her muscles with stretching exercises.

“Tonight I’ll be keeping it light with some starts, block work, and sprints,” she says. “So I’ll be taking off from the blocks for 10 and 20 meters and also do a couple of 100m and 110m sprints.”

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott concentrates on the task ahead. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott concentrates on the task ahead. Photo: BVIOC

She moves on to the track where she joins her training partners representing Haiti, Cayman, and Nigeria. Under the observant eye of coach and husband, Joey Scott, Tahesia goes through her sets of leg work – a series of fast, high-knee hops, skips and strides – which will fire up her muscles and trigger limb-placement memory for optimal results.

“At this point all the work is done,” says Coach Scott. “There’s nothing I can say to her or tell her now that’s going to have an impact. It’s all up to her and what we do at competition training is just fine tuning.”

The banter on the track is light and friendly but concentration on the tasks at hand is unwavering.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott measuring up the blocks. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott measuring up the blocks. Photo: BVIOC

After measuring distance and adjusting the blocks to suit her leg position, Tahesia executes an impressive backward lunge to land both her feet precisely on the blocks. Lined up against fellow sprinters from elsewhere, Tahesia waits for the start signal before she explodes off the start, keeping up with the four men in the lanes next to her.

Her performance that session wins the nod of approval from Coach Scott. It’s time for a post work out treatment with Team BVI’s physiotherapist, Matt McGrath.

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott at Maracana training grounds, Rio. Photo: BVIOC

Tahesia Harrigan-Scott at Maracana training grounds, Rio. Photo: BVIOC

“I’m feeling good,” says Tahesia as she comes off her last, fast sprint. “This is the first Games where I can say I don’t have any niggling worries, for example an injury that I might not have mentally shaken off. Everything seems aligned for me and I feel well balanced in body, soul and mind to give this my best shot.”

(l-r) at the Rio 2016 Maracana training grounds with Coach Joey Scott, Chris Huffins, former USA decathlete and bronze medalist, Sydney 2000, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Kirani James, 400m Gold medalist London 2012, Coach Harvey Glance, 4x100m Gold medalist Montreal 1976.

(l-r) at the Rio 2016 Maracana training grounds with Coach Joey Scott, Chris Huffins, former USA decathlete and bronze medalist, Sydney 2000, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, Kirani James, 400m Gold medalist London 2012, Coach Harvey Glance, 4x100m Gold medalist Montreal 1976. Photo: BVIOC

Behind the scenes at Rio 2016 with Elinah Phillip

Elinah Phillip. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip. Photo: BVIOC

Monday was a busy day for Elinah Phiilip, the BVI’s first swimmer in any Olympic Games. With four days to go before competition day, the 16-year old conducted a successful interview in the ESPN studios at the International Broadcasting Center before she headed out to one of the training pools for her midday session with her coach, Benoit Grattepanche.

The venue was busy with swimmers either getting ready for a race that day or working through their competition training routine.  Starting off with warm up exercises pool side, Elinah found a lane and plunged into the water for a couple of laps to loosen her limbs.

Elinah, a year 11 student of Bishops Stortford College and a member of Bishops Stortford Swim Club, alternated her routine from swimming with training aids and resistance bands, to concentrating on form and a few pacing laps.

Elinah Phillip and coach Benoit Grattepanche at the training pool at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip and coach Benoit Grattepanche at the training pool at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Benoit, a French national, is a former competitive swimmer who uses the same training methods he had been coached with to coach Elinah. “It’s a proven method and Elinah has improved on her time since we switched her training regime, on average, shaving off 1 second of her previous performance in the 50m.”

Elinah Phillip training at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip training at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

The training programme is based on daily goals which are set on results generated by a swim app created by Benoit to help analyse form, style and speed. The carefully planned schedule of exercises will be rolled out over the next few days until competition time on the morning of Friday, August 12.

Elinah will be swimming in Heat 6  – an indication that she has moved up in the ranks. Her performance times set her in the middle range of speed for all the competitors in her category.

In her last pace lap, Elinah puts in a strong performance that pleases both coach and swimmer. After a couple of cool down laps, Elinah exits the water for her post-training session with Team BVI’s physiotherapist, Matt McGrath.

Elinah Phillip at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip with Team BVI physio, Matt McGrath at Rio 2016. Photo: BVIOC

“I feel good,” said Elinah. “I felt strong and comfortable in the last pace lap I did and I’m happy with how this afternoon’s session went. I won’t sleep when I get back because that interferes with my ability to fall asleep at night but I’m going to relax before this evening’s training.”

After three hours of rest, Elinah will return to the training pool where Benoit will be expecting her to put in some hard work before she gets back to Olympic Village for a good night’s sleep.

Elinah Phillip with physio, Matt McGrath and coach Benoit Grattepanche. Photo: BVIOC

Elinah Phillip with physio, Matt McGrath and coach Benoit Grattepanche. Photo: BVIOC

Mom, Tracy Bradshaw is at Rio 2016 as Elinah’s chaperone and recalls the story of a four-year old Elinah who, when learning to swim with Kids And the Sea (KATS), would cling to the side wall and refuse to let go telling the instructor that she was “only small and the pool is too deep” for her to stand up in. It would take another year  (and a little reverse psychology) before Elinah finally let go of her fear and end up swimming her way to the Olympics.

Elinah Phillip live on BBC World

Elinah Phillip, the BVI’s first Olympic swimmer at age 16 is interviewed by BBC World at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games:

 

Rio 2016 Team BVI in the count down to competition days

Team BVI at Rio2016 Opening Ceremony 1

Team BVI ready for the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony (l-r): Benoit Grattepanche, Swimming Coach; Ashley Kelly, (200m) Flag bearer; Elinah Phillip (50m Freestyle); Eldred Henry (Shot Put) Tracy Bradshaw, Swimming Chaperone; Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (100m); Stephanie Russ Penn, Chef de Mission; Winston Potter, Athletics Head Coach.

The day after the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony, the four members of the British Virgin Islands team took time to recover from an exciting and late night and started the training count down to their first competition dates.

This is the third consecutive Olympiad for 100m sprinter, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott, and the first Olympic Games for 200m runner, Ashley Kelly, shot putter, Eldred Henry and 16-year old swimmer, Elinah Phillip.

Athletics head coach, Winston Potter, swimming coach, Benoit Grattepanche, and physiotherapist, Matt McGrath have the athletes’ daily training, physiotherapy and rest schedules in place. All four athletes are on programmes designed to prepare their muscles for peak performance on action day.

BVI's Ashley Kelly in training at Rio 2016

BVI’s 200m runner, Ashley Kelly in training at Rio 2016

“Sunday was my last day in the weight room,” said Ashley. “I worked on power stuff – light and fast – before hitting the track. All the work is done so I am just working on firing up my muscles and getting sharp.”

Settled in three adjacent apartments in the Olympic Village, the delegation of athletes, coaches, physiotherapist and doctor – under the guardianship of Chef de Mission, Stephanie Russ Penn – have created a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere which is critical for the athletes’ mental and emotional preparation for the competitions.

Reflecting on the Opening Ceremony held on August 5, the athletes agreed that the experience was unique, with Tahesia stating that the enthusiasm and warmth of the crowd was a stand out for her.

Ashley had the honour of leading the team as the flag bearer, entering the Maracana Stadium as the 203rd country out of 207.

The outfits worn by the team reflected the green, white, and gold of the territory’s official colors. It included a white dress and green cardigan for the ladies and white jacket and pants for the men – both outfits accented with a blue scarf imprinted with the green, white, and gold Vigilate.

“We worked with Kristin Frazer of Trefle Designs who was a key person in conceptualizing the ensemble,” said Stephanie. “She was the designer of the dresses and jacket while the team at Quami’s Sewing design Ltd. assisted in the production of the tailor made outfits. Everyone was excited to be part of this and the BVIOC extends sincere thanks for their support.”

Live coverage of all Olympic events in which the territory’s athletes are competing, along with live coverage of the Caribbean’s athletes, will be broadcast on CBN Television Channel 51 and on CBN Radio 90.9FM. Events take place from 8.00am until 2.00pm EST and in the evenings from 7.00pm until 11.00pm EST. Rey O’Neal will be in the studio for live commentary and analysis of the VI’s athletes during their events.

The VI’s athletes’ first round of events are scheduled to take place on August 12 with Tahesia Harrigan-Scott in the Women’s 100m Preliminary Round / Round 1. The Women’s 100m semi finals and final will take place on August 13.

Also on August 12, Elinah Phillip will compete in the Women’s 50m Freestyle Heats with the semi finals taking place later that day. The final for the 50m Freestyle takes place on August 13.

On August 15 Ashley Kelly will compete in Round 1 of the 200M. The semi finals will take place on August 16 and the final on August 17.

On August 18, Eldred Henry will be throwing the Shot Put.

Updates on the VI’s athletes at Rio 2016 will be posted on the BVIOC accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and can be found on these platforms under BVI Olympic Committee.

Supporters are encourage to use the hashtag handle #teambvi.

Ashley Kelly selected as Flag Bearer for Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony

Chef de Mission Stephanie Russ Penn arrived in Brazil ahead of the athletes and delegation for final preparations prior to their arrival for the  Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Chef de Mission Stephanie Russ Penn arrived in Brazil ahead of the athletes and delegation for final preparations prior to their arrival for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The British Virgin Islands Olympic Committee today announced the selection of Ashley Kelly as the flag bearer for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Ashley, who qualified in April this year to compete in her first Olympic Games in the 200m, will lead Team BVI at the Opening Ceremony on August 5.

“It’s an honour to have been selected as the flag bearer and I am incredibly proud to have been given the opportunity to introduce the Virgin Islands and team BVI as we join the opening ceremony parade at the Maracana Stadium this Friday. This is my first Olympic Games and I feely doubly blessed to have qualified for an event I trained so long and hard for and to serve as ambassador for my country.”

Ashley is one of the VI’s four athletes who will be competing in Rio 2016. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott makes history as she competes in her third Olympic Games in the 100m dash, while Eldred Henry debuts in the Shot Put and 16-year old Elinah Phillip takes the title of being the first swimmer to represent the VI in the Olympics when she competes in the 50m Freestyle.

Chef de Mission, Stephanie Russ Penn arrived in Rio, Brazil on July 29 ahead of the VI delegation to tend to administrative tasks and ensure that all preparations are complete for the smooth transition of the athletes and coaches upon their arrival to the Athletes Village and training venues.

“It has been an extremely busy but exciting few days,” said Mrs. Russ Penn. “There have been challenges with accommodation but these should be resolved by the time the athletes arrive in the next couple of days. The organisers of the Games are working hard to bring things together and we have been assigned a very capable assistant, Elaine, to help us throughout our time here. The Olympic Aquatic Stadium seems to be in good order and the Olympic Stadium is ready for action.”

Chef de Mission Stephanie Russ Penn signed the Wall of Truce and exchanged gifts with Rio 2016 at the welcome ceremony held on August 1 for the VI, Afghanistan, Ireland, Rwanda, and Turkmenistan.

Chef de Mission Stephanie Russ Penn signed the Wall of Truce and exchanged gifts with Rio 2016 at the welcome ceremony held on August 1 for the Virgin Islands, Afghanistan, Ireland, Rwanda, and Turkmenistan.

Mrs. Russ Penn attended the flag raising ceremony on August 1 where the Territorial flag was hoisted at the Athletes Village as part of the opening ceremonies to symbolize the representation of all the nations attending the Games. Describing the occasion as pleasing and enjoyable, Mrs Russ Penn signed the Wall of Truce and received the gift to the territory from Rio 2016.

Live coverage of all Olympic events including the events in which the territory’s athletes are competing and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be broadcast on CBN Television Channel 51 and on CBN Radio 90.9FM. Events take place from 8.00am until 2.00pm EST and in the evenings from 7.00pm until 11.00pm EST.

The broadcast contracted to ESPN Caribbean by CANOC Broadcasting Inc (CBI), will focus on Caribbean sports and will include interviews of Caribbean athletes prior to the events. Rey O’Neal will be in the studio for live commentary and analysis of the VI’s athletes during their events.

The VI’s athletes first round of events are scheduled to take place on August 12 with Tahesia Harrigan-Scott in the Women’s 100m Preliminary Round / Round 1. The Women’s 100m semi finals and final will take place on August 13.

Also on August 12, Elinah Phillip will compete in the Women’s 50m Freestyle Heats with the semi finals taking place later that day. The final for the 50m Freestyle takes place on August 13.

On August 15 Ashley Kelly will compete in Round 1 of the 200M. The semi finals will take place on August 16 and the final on August 17.

On August 18, Eldred Henry will be throwing the Shot Put.

Updates on the VI’s athletes at Rio 2016 will be posted on the BVIOC accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and can be found on these platforms under BVI Olympic Committee. Fans are encouraged to use the handle #GoTeamBVI in their social media posts to show their support.

Live broadcast of VI’s four athletes competing in Rio 2016 Olympics

Rio 2016 #TeamBVI - Live action on CBN Channel 51

Rio 2016 #TeamBVI – Live action on CBN Channel 51

Four athletes will represent the Virgin Islands at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games which take place in Brazil from August 5 – 21. The BVI Olympic Committee confirmed that the VI’s qualified track runners, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (100m) and Ashley Kelly (200m) will be joined by young swimmer, Elinah Phillip (50m Freestyle) and field athlete, Eldred Henry (Shot Put) competing through the universality invitation.

CANOC Broadcasting Inc (CBI) acquired the broadcast rights for the Rio 2016 Olympics and the local scheduling of live broadcasts of events in which Caribbean national athletes will compete. Events take place from 8.00am until 2.00pm and in the evenings from 7.00pm until 11.00pm.

The broadcast on ESPN Caribbean will cover all Olympic events including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies but will focus on Caribbean sports as well as interviews of Caribbean athletes prior to the events. The live coverage can be seen on CBN Television Channel 51 and listened to on the radio by tuning into CBN Radio 90.9FM.

Furthermore, the BVI Olympic Committee has invested in a decoder to be used by CBN to ensure that fans in the VI can follow the live broadcast of all the events in which the VI’s athletes will be competing.

The first rounds for these events are scheduled to take place on August 12 with Tahesia Harrigan-Scott in the Women’s 100m Preliminary Round / Round 1. The Women’s 100m semi finals and final will take place on August 13. Also on August 12, Elinah Phillip will compete in the Women’s 50m Freestyle Heats with the semi finals taking place later that day. The final for the 50m Freestyle takes place on August 13.

On August 15 Ashley Kelly will compete in Round 1 of the 200M. The semi finals will take place on August 16 and the final on August 17. On August 18, Eldred Henry will be throwing the Shot Put.

Mr. Rey O’Neal will be in the studio during the competitions with commentary and analysis of athlete performances.

“This will be the first time that we will have live broadcasting of our athletes in competition at the Olympic Games,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “We invested in the decoder because we really want viewers and supporters to be able to watch the action for which our athletes have trained so hard. The Olympic Games are the pinnacle and goal of every athlete and it is no mean feat to have gained a spot in this global event. There are flexible, affordable advertising opportunities during the Olympic Games broadcasts on CBN Channel 51 and any interested persons should contact the BVIOC on (284) 494 6920 or by email at cmfarrington@bviolympics.org.”

CBN will also be broadcasting the semi finals and finals for the VI’s other national federation sports of Archery, Basketball, Cycling, Football, Rugby, Tennis, Taekwondo, and Volleyball. FLOW customers will also be able to watch alternative live feeds through the FLOW ID app.

Updates on the VI’s athletes at Rio 2016 will be posted on the BVIOC accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and can be found on these platforms under BVI Olympic Committee.

Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, Stephanie Russ Penn will be traveling to Rio one week in advance of the August 5 Opening Ceremony to prepare for the arrival of the athletes.

In addition to Mrs. Russ Penn, the official delegation to Rio 2016 includes Winston Potter, Athletics Coach, Omar Jones, Athletics Coach, Benoit Grattepanche, Swimming Coach, Tracy Bradshaw, Swimming Chaperone, Matthew McGrath, Physiotherapist, Dr. Harlan Vanterpool, Doctor, Mark Chapman, Olympic Attache, Ephraim Penn, President, BVIOC and Lloyd Black, Secretary General.

Olympic Day celebrated with National Federations and a focus on Rio 2016

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Runners on BVI Olympic Day 2016. Photo: BVIOC

Adults and children kicked off Olympic Day in the VI with an early morning run in Virgin Gorda on Saturday, June 25. In Tortola, a mix of all ages came out in the afternoon to celebrate the occasion at the Tortola Sports Club by watching demonstrations in rugby, archery, taekwondo, squash and having a go at each of the sports in advance of the symbolic 2-mile run through Road Town.

Representatives for the national federations for Rugby, Archery, Taekwondo and Squash also shared information on the sports and encouraged attendees to sign up and get moving with a new activity.

Rio 2016 sailing hopeful, Chris Brockbank joined the Royal BVI Yacht Club to speak about the efforts he and his teammate, Alec Anderson had undertaken in their quest to qualify for this Summer Olympic Games. Whilst they did not meet the Rio 2016 qualification, Chris reiterated their commitment to pursuing qualification for Tokyo 2020. Club manager Tamsin Rand also spoke about the youth sailing programme.

The VI Swimming Federation represented by the president and members of the youth swimming team were also in attendance.

Ephraim Penn, president of the BVIOC gave a brief history of the BVI Olympic Committee and presented one of the founding members, Reynold ‘Rey’ O’Neal, OBE with a commemorative photo book of the tribute evening hosted for him by the BVIOC earlier in the year.

In keeping with the goal of Olympic Day to get the young involved and engaged in sports, Penn also spoke about the Long Term Athletes Development programme hosted by the BVIOC. The series of LTAD workshops will equip coaches with the resources to identify and develop promising youth athletes with a view to training them for major games such as the Olympics.

Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, Stephanie Russ-Penn followed with an update on the preparations for Rio 2016 confirming that the VI’s qualified track runners, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott (100m) and Ashley Kelly (200m) will be joined by young swimmer, Elinah Phillip (50m Freestyle) who will compete as part of the universality invitation.

Russ-Penn then went on to reveal the outerwear for the Team BVi athletes participating in major games highlighting the integration of the Vigilante in the design.

Rounding off with information on attending the summer Games, Mark Chapman, Treasurer, BVIOC said, “Rio 2016 promises to be an exciting occasion and it’s not too late to get event tickets and support Team BVI in Brazil. The BVIOC has tickets for residents and anyone else who has a connection to the territory. Recent research also shows airfare via Panama is available starting at $1006 so anyone interested in getting tickets can complete an online request on bviolympics.org or contact the BVIOC office on 494 6920. The summer Games take place August 5 – 21.”

The afternoon set up at the sports club included tips and massages by La Ambiance Spa and an information booth run by the VI branch of the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO).

The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, and Red Cross volunteers were on hand to ensure the safety of the runners and walkers. Roadtown Wholesale distributed Dasani water and Powerade to participants along the route and at the sports club.

Olympic Day was established in 1948 as an annual occasion where everyone everywhere can get together in their communities to celebrate the Olympic values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship and also celebrate the Olympic Day pillars: Move. Learn. Discover.

In his Olympic Day message to people around the world, IOC President, Thomas Bach said, “Olympic Day is for everyone, regardless of age or athletic ability. The important thing is to get the couch potatoes off the couch. Although Olympic Day commemorates an historic event, its goals are aimed at the future and particularly at young people. Olympic Day is an opportunity to remind people that sport is not just for watching. We want to inspire all people to get active and to have fun. Thank you for doing your part by getting off the couch. Please encourage others to do the same — not just on Olympic Day, but as part of a healthier and happier life. Enjoy the day, and please keep the spirit of Olympic Day alive throughout the year.”