Exhibition highlights VI’s sports for Sochi 2014 and Glasgow 2014

BVI's half-pipe skier for Winter Olympic Fames Sochi 2014, Peter Adam Crook answers questions at the BVIOC's multi sport exhibition

BVI’s half-pipe skier for Winter Olympic Fames Sochi 2014, Peter Adam Crook answers questions at the BVIOC’s multi sport exhibition

The BVI Ski Association, the BVI Athletics Association, the BVI Swimming Association, and the BVI Squash Rackets Association presented their respective sports to a rapt audience at an interactive exhibition hosted by the BVI Olympic Committee at the Tortola Sports Club last Saturday. The morning event highlighted the upcoming Winter Olympic Games Sochi 2014, and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in which qualified athletes will represent the Virgin Islands.

Peter Adam Crook (Adam), who earlier last week was officially presented as the territory’s half-pipe skier for Sochi 2014, and Joe Chapman, squash player for the VI in Glasgow 2014 presented their respective sports in the glass-fronted squash courts to a public that previously had very little exposure to either half-pipe skiing or squash.
Twenty-year old Adam, a Cedar International School alumnus who was born in the BVI, talked about his path to qualifying to represent the territory at the Winter Olympic games. Already qualified for Sochi 2014, Adam had placed 10th out of 41 elite athlete competitors in the final qualifiers at the Winter Games New Zealand 2013 in August.

Generating a buzz with the daring and dramatic jumps and twists that earn competition points, Adam used a reel of his training and competition clips to explain the sport. Snow virgins were introduced to the concept of a snow covered half-pipe where a series of jumps and tricks on skis are executed off curved ramps while momentum is gathered during the downward run. Fielding dozens of questions, Adam explained the relevance and importance of the equipment from helmet, gloves, boots, and skis to the rigorous demands of the sport’s training programmes during the Winter and Summer months. The latter months include trampoline tricks and ramp jumps into a swimming pool whilst fully dressed in suit, helmet, and skis.

Two times Commonwealth Games squash representative for the VI, Joe Chapman played a demonstration game with Commonwealth Games, Australian gold medalist, Joe Kneipp, current squash coach at the Tortola Sports Club. Explaining the rudiments of the game, the players showcased the speed and energy of the sports and invited novices to have a go at playing some rallies.

Up on the field, BVIAA coach, Dag Samuels had enrolled the assistance of representing athletes including Carifta medalists and national record holders to demonstrate the art and skills required in track and field sports. After indicating the purpose of starting blocks, VI sprinter Shaquoy Stephens helped those wanting a personal experience off the blocks.

Twin sisters, Trevia and Tynelle Gumbs, Carifta gold and bronze medalists, instructed in how to shot put, and throw the discus and javelin. 100m and 200m sprinter, Karene King, who also is a member of the 4 x 100m national women’s relay team, and 400m runner Dominique Maloney challenged the audience to try some of the training and warm up routines of her sport, while 100m hurdles national record holder, Ariana Forbes demonstrated the secret steps to pacing and jumping hurdles.

Mr Verne Wheatley, president of the BVI Swimming Association shared information on the four hopeful swimmers for Glasgow 2014 and encouraged athletes to take up swimming as a cross-training exercise in their sports.

Tanya Medley, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Doping Control Officer (DCO) took the audience on a verbal tour of the purpose and process of anti-doping using a demo testing kit to illustrate the methodology.  Guest nutritionist, Terri Benjamin talked about nourishing the body organically before and after exercise and invited athletes to learn more about keeping their diets and supplements healthy and natural.

Speakers at the event included Mr Ephraim Penn, president of the BVIOC, Mr Paul Hewlett, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, and Mr Mark Chapman, treasurer, BVIOC and Chef de Mission Sochi 2014 and Glasgow 2014. In attendance were BVIOC general secretary Lloyd Black, and past two-time Olympians, Dr Robin Tattersall (sailing, Los Angeles 1984 and Barcelona 1992), and Willis Todman (400m, Seoul 1988, 4x100m relay, Atlanta 1996).

The Winter Olympic Games Sochi 2014 takes place in Russia, February 7 – 23. Adam will compete in the half-pipe event on Tuesday, February 18. The XX Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 takes place in Scotland, July 23 – August 3.