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.